Woman blowing her nose
Written by Columbia HVAC

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Allergy Season

With allergy season already upon us, it’s more important than ever to figure out how to improve indoor air quality in your home. Allergy suffers may be alarmed to learn that pollen levels are sometimes denser inside than outside. In addition to these traditional outdoor allergens, indoor allergens mold and bacteria grow in unexpected places like shower curtains, pillows, and blankets creating a twofold problem. Even worse? Dust mites and insects come out of hibernation around this time, too.

The prognosis isn’t all bad: it’s possible to not only reduce the allergens in your home but also combat the common cold with your HVAC. Read on for our tips on how to improve indoor air quality even in an intense allergy season so you can enjoy the air in your home again.

Step 1: Control the Air Sources in Your Home

There are three kinds of indoor pollutants that can affect your air quality. These include combustion from heaters, stoves, or dryers; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household products like paints and cleaning supplies; and allergy triggers like pet dander, mold, and dust mites.

What can you do to control the effects of these air sources? It’s easy!

  • Open your windows. Now that the weather is starting to warm up open your windows to increase fresh air.
  • Stay away from synthetic air fresheners.
  • Adjust the humidity levels to land around 45%. More than this contributes to the growth of mold while significantly less is too dry.
  • Get out the pet grooming supplies to keep those dogs and cats from spreading dander.
  • Have a green thumb? You may also consider buying a plant, as just a single plant can be all it takes to reduce toxins from household products.
  • Use no or low VOC paint on your walls.

Step 2: Get an Air Purifier

Air purifiers have more than a few benefits. At Columbia HVAC, we recommend a whole-home air purifier. These help clean the air in your entire home, not just one room. A high-quality home air purifier is able to remove close to 99% of dust, allergens, and other unhealthy particles that float around in your home’s air. Just this one step can drastically improve your indoor air quality.

Our team can help you choose a whole-home air purifier that’s right for you!

Step 3: Change Your Furnace Filters

The basic function of air filters is to clean the air that moves through your HVAC system. Filters protect the machinery of your system from dust and debris while also removing hazardous particles that you would otherwise breathe from the air.

We recommend that you change your air filter several times a year depending on your HVAC habits, the people and pets in your home, type of filter you’re using, etc. Check out our article How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter? for a more in-depth description. If in doubt, check your filter to see if it has more than a very thin layer of dust or debris. This indicates that your filter is no longer effective and needs changing.

Step 4: Get HVAC Maintenance On Your Calendar

Allergy season is the best time to schedule your annual HVAC maintenance with the professionals at Columbia! We’ll make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly and your filters are cleaned to help you and your family stay allergy-free this spring!

Give us a call to get started improving your indoor air quality at (503) 624-2704. Our team is standing by and ready to help!