By Guest Blogger Marissa Joyce, Gwyn Services
The temperature is creeping higher, the peeper frogs are singing, and after a cold, dark winter, spring is finally around the corner! The return of the light, warmth and flowers is good news for all of us – except those who suffer from seasonal allergies. For many, the return of birdsong and redbuds also means the return of itchy, watery eyes, runny noses, and the misery that comes with The Pollening.
Those of us who have been in the Piedmont Triad for more than 9 months know the yellow clouds of pollen that are about to descend upon our world this spring. While it can be entertaining to draw pictures on car windows in the thick layers of fuzz, it’s crazy-making to carry a coating on your clothes, hair, and every other surface exposed to the open air.
Apart from the obvious benefits of medication, and following the advice of your allergist, there are many things you can do to make your home a sanctuary from the ever present pollen that ruins the spring season for so many.
Here is a rundown of the Top 10 things YOU can do to stop the pollen in your home sweet home!
1. In order to cut down on long term exposure to pollen, it’s a good idea to bathe at night instead of the morning, to wash away the allergens of the day before sleep.
2. Wash clothes more often during peak allergy season. Even if just worn briefly, they can be covered in an invisible layer of pollen. Make a habit of washing sheets, beddings, children’s stuffed animals and other linens at least weekly. This will cut down on allergen exposure.
3. Drop shoes by the front door to avoid tracking the yellow stuff through the home.
4. During the warm months, it’s a good practice to regularly clean surfaces in the home. It’s especially important each spring to wipe down vents and ceiling fan blades. Use a damp cloth to eliminate collected dust mites and pollen before they are spread through your home.
5. Deep clean carpets, upholstered furniture, and other soft surfaces during the spring. These soft, porous surfaces tend to collect pollen and trigger allergies again and again.
6. When opting for windows, don’t turn the climate control system all the way off. This can eliminate the air filtration that happens invisibly thanks to the HVAC Unit. Virtually all systems have a setting (usually labeled as ON or CIRCULATE) that keeps interior air moving through the filter, even when the heat or AC systems are not cut on.
7. Consult allergen trackers to figure out what type of pollen (tree, grass, or weed) triggers your allergy response. If you are miserable during one particular season, it is a much better idea to keep those windows closed and the pollen out.
8. The prevalence of home offices, she sheds, and other upfitted areas in the home is higher now than ever before! Reclaiming unfinished areas can be a great way to work smart. It also increase resale value, but often these basements, garages, and sheds are not part of the home’s HVAC system. Space heaters and desk fans may make the temperature tolerable, but it does nothing for the air quality. Recently, the HVAC market has seen a huge expansion of ductless HVAC units. These are small, outdoor units that can service 1-3 rooms in a home without tying into the larger climate control system.
9. Regular maintenance of an HVAC unit can extend its life for more than a decade! It also makes the system run more efficiently and filter air more effectively. While not sexy, the air filter matters, especially when it comes to environmental allergies.
10. There is also a plethora of products on the market which provide even greater benefits to air quality. Upgrading an air filter can cost less than a dinner out and make a world of difference! There are also a variety of excellent air cleaners. One is the AccuClean Whole Home Air Filter. Also consider the stand alone Media Cabinet Filtration Systems. They both remove 99% of allergens from a home in under an hour. These systems have been proven to filter out bacteria, and viruses (including COVID-19) too.
While there is no golden ticket, there are many things a savvy homeowner can do to decrease their indoor pollen count. For more information on air filters, air cleaners, or the health of your HVAC system, call Gwyn Services! We are locally owned and have been serving families in the Piedmont area for 50 years now. We understand Spring in the South, and we understand what it takes to get your home’s air Spring Clean!
*Sponsored by Gwyn Services