AC and Heating Tip from AC Express
Reducing Allergens in your Home
Allergies are a huge annoyance to many people. They stuff up our noses and cause us to sneeze, cough, and just generally feel less than 100%. Reasonably, any way to reduce the allergy-causing material in our homes is appealing. The quality of Austin air conditioning is a big factor in the number of allergens you’ll find in your home. Getting good air conditioning in Austin is important because this city tends to be prone to high concentrations of allergens and the humidity and heat needed for them to thrive.
In addition to improving our air quality through better air conditioning, there are a number of ways you can decrease the number of allergens in your home. Many of these ways are very inexpensive and take little time. This tip is all about the little ways you can make your house less uncomfortable of a place to be by reducing the allergens in your home, thereby improving your own health. The tips will be divided up by the different rooms in your house and what can be done there, starting with some things that will affect your whole house.
House Wide Prevention Measures
Being diligent about dusting regularly will help you greatly reduce allergens in your home. That’s because dust mites found on dust are one of the leading triggers of asthma and allergies. But there’s also a right and a wrong way to dust. If done wrong, dusting will do little more than kick the dust up into the air, potentially making your allergies even worse. Make sure you use a damp cloth or a treated material that’s designed to pick up dust and not just move it around. Dust off all the solid surfaces in your home that normally gather dust. Keep your windows closed and clean them regularly. Any leaks in the house should be taken care of immediately as standing water is one of the best ways to promote mold growth.
Consider investing in HEPA filters. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA filters are superior filters that do a better job of clearing the air of contaminants such as pet dander and pollen. You can replace your air filters with HEPA filters as well as use vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters to improve the air quality of your home. Speaking of air filters, make sure you replace those as often as the manufacturer recommends. That’s usually every month or every two months. This is one of the most important things you can do to improve your air conditioning and the health of your home. And speaking of vacuum cleaners, try to vacuum all the carpeted areas of your home at least once a week in order to remove allergens in your home.
Another way to keep allergens from gathering in your home is to keep the house cool and dry. A study done by the Wright State University found that allergens in a home were significantly reduced from keeping the humidity level below 50%. Do this with the help of a dehumidifier. You can monitor the humidity in your household with a hygrometer, which usually run around $30 online. Along with a dehumidifier, make sure you quickly take care of anything that gets wet in your house. From bedding to carpet to stuffed animals, anything that has soaked up a significantly amount of water should be cleaned and dried as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth.
There are number of things you can do to reduce allergens in your home that are specific to the bedrooms in the house. For example, make sure you wash all your sheets, blankets and pillow cases regularly. Wool or feathered covers should be replaced with synthetic material that’s less likely to collect dust mites and other contaminants. Optimally, you should wash all of these things once a week in hot water. Also consider investing in dust-mite proof covers for your pillows and mattress.
If it’s an option, consider replacing bedroom carpeting with hard wood floors. Avoid upholstered furniture and stick to easy to clean dressers, drawers, and bed side tables. Try to reduce clutter in the bedroom as anything that increases surface area and gives allergens more places to settle will help allergens increase. If you have pets, try to keep them out of the bedroom to reduce the amount of allergens they drag from outside and move into the place you sleep. If you have a bed for your pet you should wash that in hot water once a month.
Make sure your pillows and mattresses aren’t too old. Mattresses should be replaced every ten years and pillows should be replaced every five years, any older than that and these things lose their ability to stay clean.
Any kind of warm and damp environment is going to be a breeding ground for mold. That’s why your bathrooms should be a main focus in your battle against allergens. If you want to reduce humidity in the bathroom, thereby reducing the growth of allergens and mold, you can install and use an exhaust fan while you shower and bathe. Make sure you use washable bath mats and rugs in your bathroom and wash them regularly. If possible and relevant, remove bathroom wallpaper and replace with tile or mold-resistant enamel paint.
Make sure to towel dry the tub and the enclosure after each use to prevent unnecessary moisture. If you have any mold growth on the tub or toilet, use a bleach solution to clean the mold off. Any leaks should be taken care of immediately to prevent unnecessary mold growth. Wipe down the sink and countertop daily to prevent standing water and to keep it clean of dust and other allergens. Wash any towels and bathroom hand towels weekly.
The family room should be a place for quality time, but allergens found in this room of the house can turn an enjoyable family evening into a night of worry. Dust mites find their way into furniture as easily as they do into beds. They lay eggs in upholstery, and leave droppings and shedding that can trigger allergic asthma symptoms. Mold can grow on upholstered furniture, as well as on curtains and drapes. Cockroaches will be drawn to crumbs around the floor of the den just as quickly as they go for it in the kitchen.
As with the rest of the house, the living room should be thoroughly vacuumed once a week. This includes both the carpet and any curtains and couches and chairs. If possible, use washable slip covers and cushions and wash these regularly in hot water of approximately 130 degrees. If it’s an option, replace carpeting with hard wood floors, tile, or linoleum. Avoid eating on the floor or other places where food can easily fall and attract bugs. Avoid using heavy blinds and curtains that can attract a lot of dust. Avoid use of wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because smoke and gases can worsen respiratory allergies. Most natural gas fireplaces won't cause this problem.
The kitchen is another place that, like the bathroom, is prone to mold growth because of the tendency for the conditions to get warm and humid. For this reason, consider installing and using a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and moisture caused by cooking. Wash your dishes daily to prevent bugs from being attracted to food particles. In addition, scrub and wash your sink regularly to avoid food particles from being left out.
Wipe the stovetop down after each use to avoid food being left on it. If you store leftovers make sure you use air tight containers.
As far as the refrigerator goes, wipe it down regularly to avoid moisture from building up. Clean the drain pan and empty it regularly. Replace any moldy rubber seals and discard any out of date food that might collect mold. As with the rest of the kitchen related tips, empty the trash regularly to avoid food from being left out in the home for too long, as this attracts cockroaches and bugs and other things that bring allergens with them. Consider getting an insect-proof lid for your garbage can in your kitchen.
Cleaner Air and Home Air Conditioning Repair in Austin
As you can see, there are a wide range of habits you can start doing regularly to help keep your house as allergen free as possible. Some of these are as simple as dusting with damp cloths or not using heavy curtains. Some of them are more wide reaching and powerful like using a humidifier to keep the humidity of your household below 50% or replacing carpet with hard wood flooring. Regardless, there’s no reason you can’t start improving the air quality of your home today with some of these simple tips.
If you suspect that a part of the reason you’ve had an increase in allergies lately is because of a problem with your air conditioning and your air filter isn’t dirty, contact a trusted Austin AC repair company like AC Express so that we can perform a checkup for you. Your air conditioner may need some kind of service done to it to keep it in its best shape. AC repair in Austin, from Round Rock and Lago Vista to Hutto and Manor, is the business of AC Express and has been for many years. If you need air conditioner repair in Austin, call today!
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