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Why Your Allergies Are Worse This Month (And How We Can Help)

Man sick from poor allergy air quality in Austin, TX

Why Your Allergies Are Worse This Month (And How We Can Help)

The seasons are changing and at this time of year, we’re spending more time indoors than outdoors. Whether you’re working from home, cherishing time with your family, or hosting guests, breathing clean air in your home is a necessity to make sure everyone stays safe, healthy, and comfortable. This can be especially hard during allergy season and living in Austin, TX doesn’t do your indoor air quality any favors.

Allergens and other indoor air pollutants are everywhere in Austin, which is why fall home maintenance is essential and one of the biggest fall HVAC maintenance to-dos is to improve the air quality in your home. 

Let’s explore why indoor air quality is so important, how allergens circulate through your home during allergy season, and how your HVAC system should be working to get rid of your allergies.

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?

Indoor air quality, also known as IAQ, is exactly what it sounds like — a measurement of how clean your air is at home. Its counterpart, indoor air pollution, is everything that takes away from your indoor air quality like the allergens and pollution you breathe outside that you don’t want in your home.

Unfortunately for homeowners, the status of your indoor air quality isn’t something that’s always obvious. There will likely always be a few particles floating around in your air but you don’t always have to deal with high levels of allergens and other pollutants in your home.

When Is Allergy Season In Austin, TX? What Are Some Common Allergens?

Austin tends to have mild winters and scorchingly humid summers — which is likely not preferable to anyone but for those who suffer from allergies, it can be unbearable. Allergies can be present year-round, however, the fall months are often worse because of the increase in some of Texas’ most common allergens.

Here are the most common allergens in Austin, TX:

  • Tree pollen: Pollen from hardwood trees such as oak and cedar begins spreading in Spring but can be especially prevalent in the winter months when there is not much else pollinating.
  • Weed and Grass pollen: Pollen from grasses and weeds begins in late spring and lasts until fall. Common culprits include ragweed and Bermuda grass. Ragweed is a widely prevalent allergen and one plant can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains! 
  • Year-round allergens: There are some allergens that everyone is affected by. These include mold and mildew spores, dust, and pet dander. 

People can vary in sensitivity — some may have only a mild reaction while others with other health issues like asthma may be severely impacted by any allergens in their environment.

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality And Reduce Allergens

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to improve your indoor air quality during allergy season. It’s important to keep in mind that improving air quality is an ongoing process. By implementing these suggestions, you and your family can enjoy a healthier indoor environment!

Green Leaf suggests working with what you have first. So, if you already have an air purifying machine or an HVAC system, make sure you are doing all you can to maintain it on your end and schedule regular maintenance so it continues to perform at its best.

1. Improve Ventilation

One of the causes of poor air quality is a lack of ventilation. Ventilation circulates air from the outdoors to the indoors and is key when maintaining comfort and clean air in your home.

Stale air can not only be uncomfortable, but it also leads to an increased concentration of indoor pollutants, uncomfortable humidity levels, and unbalanced temperatures inside your home.

Here are some quick tips from Green Leaf on how to improve your home’s ventilation:

  • Open doors and windows: For a quick fix, opening your windows and doors will provide airflow through your home, especially when the air is clean and fresh. Just make sure to adjust your thermostat settings to account for the air being let in.
  • Fans: Turning on a ceiling fan or other fans circulates the air around your home and also keeps your temperatures feeling leveled without adjusting your thermostat.
  • Change air filters: When conducting HVAC maintenance, clean and replace dirty air filters. Dirty air filters reduce airflow and restrict proper ventilation.

2. Get An Air Purifier

Air purifiers purify air by sucking in stale air, passing it through a filtration system, and then allowing the now clean air to pass through back into the home. So, not only can air purifiers filter air, but they can remove odors, reduce bacteria and mold spores present in the air, and reduce the germs in the air. 

In other words, air filters can only clean air, while air purifiers both clean and sanitize it, leading to a healthier home.

Air purifiers are a good option at any time of the year, but they surge in popularity during the winter months. Since more people get sick in the winter and many see an increase in house guests, homeowners turn to air purifiers to give their living space the extra power to reduce allergies and germs and keep their family and visitors safe.

3. Install An Air Purification System

Air purification systems are similar to an air purifier, but instead of one or two air purifiers, it’s a whole system in the house. There are several types of air purification systems, all of which depend on the size of your home and your air pollution clarification needs.

4. Prioritize High-Efficiency Air Filters

High-efficiency air filters are present in a lot of air quality machines. If you already have air quality machines, double-check to make sure high-efficiency air filters are in place and are maintained.

There are many air filters out on the market, so it can be confusing to determine which option is right for you and your home, especially if you have allergies. Most filters need to be replaced every 3 months or so but lucky for you, Green Leaf has high-efficiency air filters that will last you up to 12 months

High-efficiency filters are by far the best choice for people who suffer during allergy season. They can capture very small particles, which helps eliminate many common allergens, such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander from circulating through your air.

5. Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance is key when improving your indoor air quality and eliminating allergies. It’s suggested that you schedule HVAC maintenance twice a year before the harsher seasons: once in the spring and again in the fall.

HVAC maintenance can offer many benefits to homeowners, especially those with allergies. It can create a healthier indoor environment by reducing allergen accumulation in the HVAC system, preventing it from spreading throughout the home. 

Another big benefit of HVAC maintenance is that you’ll reduce mildew and mold growth. Many homeowners don’t realize that this is very common, and everyone is allergic to these pollutants.

Schedule With Green Leaf For Allergy Season Air Quality Solutions Today

Worried about the indoor air quality of your home? Schedule an IAQ appointment with a specialist at Green Leaf today! Indoor air quality can be confusing to navigate, and we want you to feel assured and comfortable when deciding on the best option for your home.

Fall is the perfect time to fix any HVAC maintenance or air quality issues in your home before you’re stuck inside with allergens floating around. Winter is coming up fast, and it’s good to prepare for any potential issues ahead of time. 

Call Green Leaf AC & Heating today to schedule your HVAC maintenance and to talk about indoor air quality products!

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