Stop Sneezing with These IAQ Tips
If you find that you’re sneezing indoors, you may need to look to your IAQ (indoor air quality). IAQ in the typical American home is often as bad or worse than that found outdoors. Airtight construction of newer homes may be a key factor in promoting a buildup of pollutants, leading to allergies and other breathing problems.
Here are some tips for improving indoor air quality in your home.
Allergies usually develop after prolonged exposure to a particular substance that the body’s defenses begin to perceive as harmful, called allergens. You can develop allergic reactions to a lot of things in your home, including:
- Mold, mildew and fungus, resulting from overly damp conditions
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by chemicals in household items
- Pet dander
- Dust/dust mites
Use a good quality HVAC filter to trap allergens before they are recirculated in your home’s air supply. Choose a pleated air filter rated 8-12 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). For other allergens, do the following:
Pollen — Confine pollen-bearing plants to one room and close the door. Brush off clothing before you enter the home, or change clothing as soon as you ‘re indoors.
Dust — Vacuum carpets frequently with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Dust with a microstatic or damp cloth.
Dust mites — Dust mites love your bedding, and thrive in damp conditions. Keep the humidity level down in the home, vacuum the carpet frequently, and wash linens in hot water once a week.
Pet dander — Brush shedding pets outdoors.
Mold and fungus — Deal with excessive dampness by installing exhaust ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen. Fix leaking plumbing and roofs right away. If your home is still damp, install a dehumidifier in the HVAC system.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about IAQ (indoor air quality), energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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