Say goodbye to sniffles and allergies and reduce respiratory illness with tips on how to…
Most people associate sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats with spring pollen, but fall can be just as bad for allergy symptoms. Before you reach for an over the counter medicine and a box of tissues, we are sharing some ways you can kill dust mites and improve the air quality in your home.
Common Causes of Fall Allergies
While flower and tree pollen are the main culprits for springtime allergy symptoms, fall allergies come from much different sources, including:
- Mold from piles of wet leaves
- Smoke from burning leaves and wildfires
- Dust that’s built up inside the home and within the furnace;
- Pet dander
Minimizing Fall Allergy Symptoms
If you do find yourself suffering with allergy symptoms during the fall months, here are some simple, effective tips to minimize your discomfort both indoors and outdoors.
- Reduce mold growth around the outside of your home by clearing away leaves quickly, keeping fall decorations like straw bales and gathered cornstalks dry, and throwing away jack-o-lanterns if they begin to sag.
- Wear a respirator or an N95 mask when you’re out working in the yard, mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, or doing other activities that can kick up dust or expose you to ragweed pollen.
- Keep your car windows closed when driving.
- Avoid tracking in pollen, dust, and mold by leaving your shoes at the door, and taking a shower immediately when you come inside from doing yard work.
- Keep your windows closed to prevent pollen, smoke, and dust from coming inside.
- Upgrade your HVAC air filter to reduce the amount of particles flowing through your home.
- Control the humidity in your home – too dry and dust, pollen, and other particulates become more severe, but too much moisture can lead to mildew and dust mite infestations. Consider a whole home dehumidifier that allows you to monitor and make adjustments for optimal comfort.
- Wash bedding regularly using hot water.
- Vacuum carpeting regularly using a high efficiency filter or use a damp mop on hard surface floors.
What Are Dust Mites?
In addition to airborne allergens and pollutants listed above, dust mites are a known trigger for allergic reactions and rashes, but what are they? Dust mites are microscopic insects related to ticks, but instead of biting or burrowing into our skin, they feed on dead human skin cells that make up dust within the homes. They are most often found living in fabric, including bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpeting, and window coverings, where dead skin cells cling.
As dust mites devour skin cells, they release fecal pellets and body fragments which are the cause of indoor allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. Not only are they dangerous, mites are prevalent – studies have found that almost 80 percent of homes in the United States have detectable levels of dust mite allergens.
How to Rid Your Home of Dust Mites
Dust mites thrive in damp environments because they absorb moisture through their skin, and they make their homes in fabric and upholstery. To eliminate dust mites, you need to eliminate favorable conditions which involves:
- Reducing fabric by swapping out drapes and curtains with blinds, cover mattresses and pillows, and even take up carpeting if symptoms are severe.
- Remove stuffed animals that aren’t used or played with. Wash the ones kept at least once per week;
- Keep your home below 50 percent humidity with a dehumidifier.
- Wash bedding and pet bedding in hot water at least one time per week (including comforters and blankets)
- Vacuum upholstery and carpeting frequently – daily if allergies are severe;
Improve Air Quality in Your Home with Bowman Mechanical Services
Your home should be a healthy haven, but dust, dander, and dust mites can leave you feeling anything but healthy. Fortunately, we can help. We offer a wide variety of indoor air quality improvement services to homes and businesses in South Raleigh, Garner, and the Triangle area. From air duct cleaning to prevent dust and debris from cycling through your home to inline media filtration devices and whole home dehumidifiers, we have everything you need to help you keep the air in your home clean and healthy. Give us a call today at (919) 679-9756 or fill out the form below to learn more.