In Texas, it seems as if we have to endure one seasonal allergy after another, and fall is no exception. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to experience those allergies even when we’re indoors, as pollen can waft inside when we open the door, or be carried inside on clothing or on pets.
Too bad, because fall is when many of us like to take the rare opportunity to fling open the windows and experience our homes without the HVAC system running.
So what’s the deal on fall indoor air quality? Keeping the home airtight will certainly help keep out pollen, but it also means airborne pollutants can build up in that stale air, perhaps exacerbating respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and rhinitis. So what can we do to counter fall indoor air quality concerns?
There are actually a number of things you can do to improve IAQ this fall, starting with opening the windows a bit every day to let out stale air and allow fresh air inside. Bear in mind, however, you’re also allowing pollen inside, so if you’re allergic to whatever is circulating this fall, you’re probably better off not following this option. If you choose to keep the windows closed, try some of these measures:
- Keep other pollutants, such as pet dander, mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dust mites under control at the source. Brush pets outdoors; fix plumbing leaks; don’t buy pressed wood products; air out dry cleaning before bringing it indoors; keep chemicals tightly capped; vacuum frequently with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.
- Change your air filter often. If you use a cheap fiberglass filter, switch to a dense pleated filter, which will do a better job capturing airborne particulates.
- Look into some type of air purifier, either portable or whole house. Portable models must be moved around; whole home models are installed in the HVAC system and do a better job of cleaning the air.
To learn more about improving your home’s indoor air quality this fall, or to schedule repairs, maintenance of an installation, contact Beyer Boys.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).