Do you love spring but fear facing the pollen outdoors? Do you constantly find yourself sneezing, coughing, or wheezing?
If so, you are probably one of the 50+ million Americans that suffer from seasonal allergies. Although limiting time spent outdoors can reduce exposure to allergies, problems can persist even if you’re indoors. Why is that? Shouldn’t indoor air be much safer and cleaner to breathe? Not according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The organization discovered that indoor air can be anywhere from 2-100 times more polluted than outdoor air.
So if you find yourself constantly sneezing even while indoors, you may be facing indoor air pollution.
What causes indoor air pollution? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the culprit in a majority of homes is dirty air ducts and sub par ventilation. They stated, “There are examples of ducts that have become badly contaminated with a variety of materials that may pose risks to your health.” In order to solve the problem, they recommend hiring a professional to clean the air ducts. While people often neglect to have their air ducts cleaned, it should be an annual process. Air ducts collect dust, pollen, and debris, and if left unattended, the buildup can cause major problems for the heating and cooling system. Plus, if moisture gets into the mix, mold will filter into the house through the heating and cooling system.
Before hiring someone to clean your air ducts, you should make sure that they are a legitimate and reputable business. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests getting references before hiring a company to clean your air ducts. You should also make sure that they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, and that they are licensed in their state. Some companies vacuum near the intakes rather than thoroughly cleaning the air ducts, so it’s important to find a company that will clean the area properly.
Dr. Marjorie Slankard, an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, stated that “sometimes when people turn their air on, they find themselves coughing and sneezing, and that is especially true if the air ducts have not been cleaned for a while.” In order to reduce allergies, she suggests having air ducts cleaned to remove dust and mold from the home. “The solution is more restful sleep, and considerably less sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes.” Schedule an appointment with a professional today to have your air ducts inspected! This will help make sure that the air inside your home is clean and safe to breathe.
After having your air ducts cleaned, you should change your air filters every 90 days for maximum effectiveness. Not only will changing filters regularly keep the air clean, but it will help reduce energy costs. The Department of Energy found that changing your air filters on a consistent basis will lower the energy bill by 5-15%.
By following these two simple steps, you’ll guarantee that the air inside your home is clean and safe to breathe.
Andrew Philips is a licensed electrician who lives in Seattle, WA.