How to Avoid Allergies and Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality is a common hazard in Port St. Lucie, Florida, homes. The warm year-round climate means that pollen can be an issue at any time. High humidity levels bring mold and mildew into play, and any active home is bound to experience issues with dust mites and dander. Keep irritants and allergens under control and improve indoor air quality with these smart tips:
Use Your HVAC Fan
Your HVAC system is a powerful tool for keeping the air clean, but it can only function when it’s actively cycling air. In the spring and autumn months, you may not need your heater or air conditioner as often. However, leaving the system off for long periods will prove disastrous for your indoor air quality.
If you’re not using your HVAC system for temperature management, you can still use it for air filtration by simply switching to the fan setting from time to time. Let the fan run for an hour or two so you can fully circulate and filter the air in your home.
Don’t leave it on for much longer than that, though. You’ll risk an excessively high utility bill. Use this for supplemental filtration if you’re noticing signs of poor air quality in your home.
Think Beyond Your Standard Filter
Your standard HVAC air filter can only capture a percentage of the pollutants circulating throughout your indoor air. The MERV rating will give you an idea of how effective your filter is. The higher the number, the better your efficiency.
Standard residential air filters typically have a MERV of 4 or lower and capture less than 80 percent of particles in the air. These filters can only stop particles that are 10 microns in size or larger.
You can upgrade to a better efficiency filter as your first line of defense. But most residential HVAC systems can’t handle a filter with a MERV rating any higher than 12.
Learn to Make Pollutants Stick
Though Florida’s climate is known for its damp weather, there are periods in the winter when the air dries out. You may notice your allergies worsening during this time.
When there’s adequate humidity in the air, dust mites and other common allergens absorb that moisture and become heavier and stickier. This helps them settle on flat surfaces where you can effectively wipe them.
When the air is dry, these allergens become airborne. This makes it easier to inhale the irritants and more difficult to capture them. Manage humidity in your house with a whole-home humidifier that can add that essential touch of moisture when things are dry.
Adjust Your Washer Settings
In many instances, washing your laundry on cold is an effective way to save money and reduce the strain on your hot water heater. However, there are some things that you should always wash on the hot setting.
Hot water is more effective for killing dust mites. You should always use it to wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets and other bedding items. Make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep by taking extra precautions to keep allergens and irritants out of your bed.
Stop Hazards at the Door
Many of the pollutants in your home are likely entering right through the front door. Set up a mud room or other area near the door where you can confine any items that are likely to bring irritants in. Have friends and family remove their shoes at the door.
Provide a handy cupboard or shelf for safely stashing shoes. Keep a coat rack and umbrella stand handy to keep pollen, dust, and other irritants from coming all the way into your home.
The right indoor air quality solutions will make a big difference in the health and comfort of your home. If you’re looking for an effective way to improve your air, contact Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, LLC at 772-905-3358.
Image provided by Bigstock
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