Some allergen particles you can see in the air. Others are microscopic. But that doesn’t matter to those affected by them and suffer the miserable symptoms. Allergies are a nuisance, but sometimes they can be avoided! The important thing is too know how to keep the indoor air quality in our home, or place of work, as healthy as possible. This is why at Abel Heating and Cooling we are happy to have a CIEC (Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant) on site.
The first things we blame when the sneezing starts are outdoor irritants, such as pollen from trees including evergreens. Then there is grass, especially after it’s just been mown. Blooming plants and weeds come next.
These each trigger hay fever or seasonal allergies in those susceptible. The only way to avoid this is to stay inside, especially on windy days when the spores are blown about.
A better way to avoid pollen is by being sure your heating and cooling filtration system is efficient. This will do a great deal in preventing allergens from entering and recycling in your house.
How do Allergies Develop?
Exposed to a toxin, or allergen? It irritates your immune system sensors and then antibodies are sent into your system to destroy the allergen. Next, histamines get released. Now your immune system senses danger and produces anti-bodies to fight back. Thus, whenever you come in contact with these microbes in the future, your system reacts and wants to go to battle.
Sometimes allergies will be common in family genetics, and you may be pre-disposed. Not only are allergens carried through the air, they can settle on furniture and other surfaces. But wherever you come in contact, you begin to experience mild to severe allergic reactions.
Not Only do we Find Heavy Doses of Allergens Outside
Did you know that indoor air pollution levels can reach from two to five times higher than outside levels? This includes allergens. Once your system is attacked by any of these, you begin to show the typical signs of sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, sinus and upper respiratory congestion, chest tightness and mucous membrane irritation.
Take a look at our Blog Here for a detailed list of allergy agents and their sources, such as animal dander, dust mites, molds, fragrances, cleaning supplies, decomposed bug dust, and more.
How Important is Air Filtration?
One of the greatest aids in fighting allergy symptoms is proper indoor air filtration. Not all filters are created equal. Your HVAC system filters play a big part in removing allergens from the air you breathe.
The effectiveness of filters is measured in MERVs [Minimum Efficiency Recording Value] and range from 1 to 20, 20 being the highest level of particle filtration. The American Lung Association recommends MERV at least ten or higher.
Medium efficiency filters have a higher surface area and filter more particles out of the air. Their MERV rating is from 5 to 13.
High efficiency filters have MERV ratings of 14 to 16, and can remove even smaller particles than do pleated filters.
HEPA filters (High-efficiency particulate air) have MERV ratings of 17 to 20. But these are not typically recommended for centralized home HVAC systems, unless major updates exist or are made to the system.
Another Allergy problem arises from Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
The above list is what we find prevalent in our homes, but industrial and business environments may foster allergens such as vapor, smoke, production particles. The term “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS) describes a place where occupants may experience acute health issues and discomfort related to time spent within the building. Another Blog to take a look at related to Sick Building Syndrome and the part a CIEC Environmentalist plays can be Found Here.
Molds, pollen, bacteria, dust mites, viruses or other allergens are types of biological contaminants. Included in these might be insect or bird droppings. When undetected, stagnant water accumulates in ducts or drain pans, it leads to the growth of mold plus fester bacteria and viruses.
Does your home or business HVAC system help control harmful allergens?
What is the quality of the air you’re breathing right this moment? Your HVAC system can both harbor and spread allergens when not working efficiently. Then your immune system gets challenged.
Here are a number of measures you can take at home or at your place of business in combatting this:
Call us for an inspection. Our indoor CIEC Certified environmentalist can identify the cause of poor air quality in your home. They can also diagnose a building or church for the possibility of ‘sick building syndrome’.
If necessary, you may need to replace an outdated and ineffective HVAC system.
Again, change the system air filters on a regular basis. Dirty and damp filters can be a source of air contamination when fungal spores become trapped, colonize, and are released into the air through unclean filtration.
Be informed about the latest pest control measures and keep your place well vacuumed. Rid your area of pet hair and mites.
Take Control of the Air you Breathe!
Here at ABEL Heating & Cooling we have an air quality certified CIEC environmentalist who can inspect your home or business for allergen contaminants and determine whether your HVAC system is effectively alleviating allergens caused by the above listed sources.
Call us at 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us.
Don’t suffer this allergy season!