May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and you can probably see why. While hay fever normally rears its head this time time of year, pollen counts this month are through the roof — evident when you look at the yellow stuff all over your car and outdoor furniture. Meteorologists say it’s because a prolonged winter prevented some trees from blooming when they normally do, causing birch, maple, oak and ash trees to all pollinate at once. Experts also attribute increased pollen to climate change, which has resulted in more carbon dioxide in the environment. Extra CO2 tells plants to produce more pollen.
The result? A stuffy nose, itchy eyes and throat, and lots of sneezing especially if you’re allergic. And soon, tree pollen will give way to grass pollen. Yuck. There’s not much you can do to avoid spring allergies if you need to spend time outside, but there are some ways to minimize exposure to your immune system, such as:
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Shower and change clothes when you come inside, especially before you get in bed.
- Use nasal spray to clear allergens out of your nose.
Keeping Pollen Out of Your Indoor Air
Pollen counts usually peak mid-morning, so you should avoid going outdoors during those times and keep windows closed. This means on warm days you’ll want to turn on your air conditioning, but without proper precautions, this will only blow pollen around that has made its way into your home on shoes and pets. There are a few ways to avoid this.
Buy a HEPA Filter
Typical air filters only keep large dirt and debris particles from damaging your HVAC equipment. To remove tiny allergens like pollen and mold from your indoor air, you need high-energy particulate air filters, or HEPA filters. They trap more than 99 percent of pollen, dust and even smoke. To filter the most allergens, look for a MERV rating of 10-12. You still need to change your HEPA filter at least every other month or even more often if pollen counts continue to stay high.
Have Your Ducts Cleaned
Pollen, dust and other allergens can collect in your cooling and heating ducts. When your air conditioning comes on, those allergens will circulate through the air you breathe, making you miserable. Duct cleaning eliminates those allergens to improve your indoor air quality.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance with One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning
Dirty HVAC equipment not only makes your system work harder, but it allows contaminants and moisture to enter ducts. Too much moisture allows mold to grow easily and make allergy problems even worse. When One Hour technicians clean your air conditioner’s components and examine your ductwork, we can ensure your HVAC system will work well this summer and also improve your indoor air quality.
One Hour Indoor Air Quality experts can also recommend ways to control allergens and pollutants in your home all year long. Advanced air cleaning systems like MicroPower Guard® remove the smallest particles from the air (even more than a HEPA filter), and OxyQuantum® UV lights help control germs and organic odors.
Breathe Easier Indoors With the Help of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Aberdeen
You don’t have to be miserable outside AND inside your home. Call us to discuss how we can improve your indoor air quality for spring and the rest of the year.