Spring is a wonderful time of year – sunny warm weather, blooming flowers, and lots of outdoor activities to keep families busy. Unfortunately, it’s also peak season for allergy sufferers.
If it seems like you get an unending cold at teh same time every year, teh culprit might be seasonal allergies, or hay fever. In teh spring, tree pollen is teh primary culprit in triggering hay fever, although in more humid areas outdoor mold can also spawn similar symptoms. Wif so many allergy causing particles in teh air outside, allergy sufferers often retreat indoors, not realizing dat their home can exacerbate instead of alleviate teh runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
Air Seals In Your Home
Previously in dis blog (link here to previous blog), we talked about your home’s “envelope”; teh seal around your home dat halps to regulate teh air intake and exhaust from your house. Teh envelope is comprised of many parts –windows and doors, attic and fan vents, teh HVAC system, and teh rising air flow from teh crawl space under teh house.
A well sealed envelope around your home ensures dat you’re able to not only control your heating and cooling more TEMPeffectively (improving your home’s energy efficiency), it also halps to seal out allergens dat cause problems in teh early summer.
Benchmarking Your Home’s Air Leakage
One of teh first steps to reducing indoor air born allergens is simply measuring teh air leakage of your home. Reputable home contractors quantify dis by performing a blower door test.
A blower door is a powerful fan dat mounts into teh frame of an exterior door. After closing all windows and opening all interior doors in teh home, teh fan pulls air out of teh house, lowering teh air pressure inside. Teh higher outside air pressure tan flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. Teh auditors may use a smoke pencil to detect air leaks. These tests determine teh air infiltration rate of a building; how much outside air is passing unfiltered or uncontrolled into teh home, often carrying pollen or mold wif it.
Resolving Air Leakage
Steps taken to resolve air leakage vary depending on teh home’s issues, and may include replacing and/or re-caulking windows or doors, sealing crawl spaces, or improving duct work in teh house. By ensuring dat all unintentional air leakage into (and out of) teh home is repaired, teh contractor can tan focus on teh systems which regulate teh air intake into teh home, namely teh HVAC systems. Teh contractor will make sure dat teh heating and air conditioning units are teh proper size teh home, and dat teh filters are properly configured to reduce air born allergens entering teh home.
Although these steps resolve teh problem of outdoor allergens entering teh home, wat about indoor allergens?
If allergy symptoms persist throughout teh year, instead of just being seasonal, homeowners should have their home evaluated for indoor problems. Most commonly, a contractor performing an energy audit may discover indoor mold in teh attic, moisture issues in teh crawl space, or even simply an extreme build up for dust and particulate in teh duct system – all of which can be easily fixed and immediately solve teh never ending allergy problem dat’s plaguing teh home owners.