Allergies — no one likes them, but more than 50 million Americans suffer from them each year. On top of that, 17 million Americans are plagued with asthma attacks on top alone. If you or someone in your home is part of this growing population, here’s what you need to know to keep the most common allergens out of your home.
- Secondhand Smoke: Aside from the hazardous side effects that smoking tobacco can have on the health of the smoker themselves, it can also cause adverse reactions to those in close proximity as well. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), commonly referred to as secondhand smoke, has been known to irritate the eyes, nose and throat of non-smokers. In extreme cases, it has even been known to cause permanent lung damage and cancer. It is not uncommon for those subjected to ETS to develop asthma, or have the frequency of asthma attacks worsen.
- Mold: A-ha! The sneakiest allergen of them all. Mold spores are famous for taking up residence in the ductwork of home heating and cooling units, which is why it’s so important to have them inspected and cleaned regularly. When left unattended to, mold will release its spores out into the air, causing severe allergic reactions, increased risk of asthma attacks, and serious respiratory complications.
- Cockroaches: Household pests, in general, are known to trigger allergies, but these creepy crawlers take the cake. Both their droppings and their decomposing body parts can trigger asthma attacks and allergies, especially in younger children — yuck! Just another reason to make sure your home, air ducts, and utility areas are clean at all times.
- Dust Mites: Unlike cockroaches, there’s little you can do to keep these microscopic critters away. Where there’s dust, there are usually dust mites, but you can control them to an extent. Make sure your linens and air filters are kept clean, your rugs are vacuumed and your home is well-dusted. Dust mites tend to thrive in humid conditions, so keeping your home’s humidity regulated with central heating and cooling system.
- Pets: This one can be hard to swallow, especially if you’re an avid pet-person, but the truth is, their dander, saliva and urine can sometimes cause asthma attacks and restrict lung function. But, don’t say no to that new puppy your kids are begging for just yet! It is possible to have pets, so long as you make sure your carpets are kept vacuumed, your air ducts are cleaned, and your air filters are changed regularly.
When was the last time you had your indoor air quality assessed, your air filters changed, and your air ducts cleaned and resealed? If it’s been some time, we suggest adding some much-needed HVAC maintenance to your seasonal checklist!