Are you suffering from itchy eyes, a runny nose, coughing, sniffling and sneezing? This year's spring allergy season is a doozy. A variety of factors have combined to create what experts are calling a "pollen tsunami," especially in the northeastern United States. You don't have to break your budget on tissues and antihistamines, however – read on for tips on how to batten down your home and protect your indoor air quality to mitigate the dangers of spring pollen.
A Triple Whammy of Misery and Suffering
The primary cause of this year’s allergy nightmare is a winter that dragged on far too long, leading to an abbreviated spring breeding season for allergenic plants.
"It's a triple whammy," Dr. Clifford Bassett told NBC News. "The early and mid-spring tree pollen and the grasses are hitting all at once to create misery and suffering."
Unfortunately, that means people with allergies have to pay the price. However, home technologies have evolved to help mitigate the damage. If you or anyone in your family is experiencing serious symptoms, try out these suggestions to keep your indoor air clean and fresh:
- Invest in a quality ventilator: When you're hiding inside from the pollen, you still need a way to get fresh air in while keeping irritating allergens out. That's where a ventilator comes into play. For the latest in efficiency technology, look into a heat-recovery ventilator, which brings in filtered fresh air while recycling your conditioned air.
- Get your ducts cleaned and serviced: If you have central air and don't keep the ducts clean, they could be laden with years worth of dust and particulates. What's more, if your ducts have undetected holes and leaks, pollen and other allergens are likely creeping in and spreading throughout your home.
- Avoid hanging clothes out on the line: Although using a clothesline in lieu of the dryer is a great way to save energy and money, it's also a great way to get pollen particles all over your clean clothes. And when you bring the clothes inside to fold, those particles can become airborne all over again.
- Separate indoor and outdoor clothing: If you spend a lot of time outdoors, keep a clean change of clothes ready in the foyer or bathroom so you don't shed pollen all over the house and get it mixed into bedding and furniture.
- Be extra diligent about spring cleaning: House cleaning is a pain, but if you make sure to dust, sweep, mop and vacuum regularly, you can help beat back any pollen that follows you inside. It’s important to note that sweeping can actually make allergies temporarily worse by sending irritants up into the airspace, so try wearing a mask if you need to sweep up a surface with a visible pollen layer.
For service or installation of any indoor air quality systems, don't hesitate contact a local home services professional so you can breathe comfortably in your home. Your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning is always available to help with your indoor air quality questions and needs.