Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that you were finally getting over your spring allergies? So how is it that you’re already starting to see signs that they’re returning? The summer has zipped by in the Shenandoah Valley, and we’re starting to hear from more and more people that they’re experiencing fall allergy symptoms in their Harrisonburg, Elkton, and Waynesboro homes.
You don’t have to suffer through fall allergies in your house—here are 5 tips from Excel Heating & Cooling for improving indoor air quality and reducing the effect of allergies in your home.
1. Keep Windows Closed Whenever Possible
It might seem like cruel and unusual punishment—just as the scorching summer temperatures start to drop and the temperatures outside are cozy and comfortable, you can’t open your windows to get some fresh air?
Unfortunately, many of the allergies that homeowners can suffer from in their homes originate outside, like ragweed pollen, and when you open up for windows for “fresh” air, you’re just inviting these allergens indoors. Try keeping your windows closed for a week or so, and see if that affects your allergy symptoms at all.
2. Replace Your Air Filters
The air filters in your home’s HVAC system help trap and reduce the number of air pollutants circulating in your home, including pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. But your filters need to be changed regularly, as the dirtier they become, the less effective they are at filtering out pollutants. A dirty air filter can also reduce the airflow through your ductwork, leading to more wear and tear on your furnace or central AC, higher energy bills, and less home comfort.
Wondering how often you should replace your HVAC air filters? Changing filters takes about 10 seconds and is easy to do—we recommend swapping them out at least every three months or so (or sooner if they look particularly dirty on inspection).
3. Keep Up with HVAC System Maintenance
Cooling and heating system maintenance is a smart thing to do for a number of reasons—with regular maintenance for your HVAC system, you can reduce the frequency of breakdowns and repairs, extend the lifespan of your system, and feel confident that your home is well prepared heading into the next heating or cooling season.
Preventative maintenance for your heating system is a great tool in maintaining high indoor air quality as well, as you’ll have confirmation from an HVAC expert that your air filters are working properly and your HVAC units as well as your ductwork are clean and free of harmful mold. Excel makes maintenance easy with our Comfort Club membership, offering 4 different tiers of protection to help you stay on top of your heating and cooling system maintenance all year long.
4. Maintain Proper Indoor Humidity Levels
If you have too much moisture in your home, it can lead to mold and mildew growth, both of which can aggravate your allergies and make it unpleasant and uncomfortable in your home. Ideally, you want your indoor air humidity levels to be between 30-50%, and Excel has a number of mechanical solutions to help you achieve this, from dehumidifiers to HRVs (heat recovery ventilators).
5. Upgrade Your Home with Air Purifiers
You may be hearing more and more about portable air purifiers this year, which are set up in homes, schools, and businesses to help filter out contaminants in the air. At Excel, we offer a number of in-duct air purification systems.
Unlike portable air purifiers, which can only target individual rooms and take up space in your living areas, in-duct filtration and air purification systems like UV-C light purifiers target your entire home, and they’re completely hidden from view.
Stay Healthier in Your Home with Excel
While indoor air quality allergy testing might confirm that there are indoor allergens in your home, Excel Heating & Cooling actually offers IAQ solutions that help you reduce the allergic reactions you’re suffering through this fall, creating a healthier indoor environment for you and your family. From ductwork to mechanical ventilation, our team will work with you to identify the issues you’re facing and come up with a customized fix for your home.