You might think we’d get a break from allergies in the winter time, but anyone who’s lived in Texas for a while knows that’s not so. If you’re outdoors for any length of time from December through March, you’re likely to encounter allergy triggers. Symptoms are similar to hay fever, including congestion, runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes.
Even when you stay inside with the doors closed you may not escape allergy triggers. Quite often your home, shut up tight for the winter to keep cold air out and warm air in, has worse air quality than that outdoors. Allergy triggers can include textile fibers, pollen, pet dander and dust.
If you suffer from allergies in the winter, and you find that your symptoms are not improved by closing the doors and windows, there are some things you can do to improve matters by controlling allergens at the source.
Use a good quality furnace filter. A good quality filter, rated MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 8-12 will not only protect your furnace from harmful dust, but will also improve the quality of your air by keeping particles from recirculating in the HVAC system. Install a pleated filter made of a cotton/polyester blend.
Keep your home dust free. Most of the dust you see in your home is not necessarily from the outdoors, but is a mixture of skin and hair flakes, decaying dust mite particles, pet dander and textile fibers. To control it, vacuum frequently with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Wash your linens every week in hot water. Brush your pet outdoors. Dust furniture with a damp or electrostatic cloth rather than a feather duster. Use a damp mop on floors.
Control mold. Mold is another indoor allergen that commonly affects allergy sufferers. Fix leaky pipes to avoid damp places that harbor mold. Install ventilation to the outdoors in bathrooms and over the kitchen range hood.
For more information on allergy triggers, contact Bradbury Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning. We serve The Woodlands, Conroe, Magnolia and the surrounding area.