The relatively mild Texas winter climate means year-round allergies for some, and protecting your home and family from winter allergens is essential for comfort and good health during the heating season.
South and Central Texas are home to the mountain cedar, a juniper tree that pollinates from December to March. The pollen of this tree is responsible for numerous cases of hay fever. During the pollination period, keep the windows closed and the HVAC system on, and replace the air filter monthly. Wipe your feet or remove shoes at the door to prevent tracking in pollen, and wipe your pets’ paws with a damp towel when they enter the house.
Airborne molds are a common cause of allergic rhinitis, and they can aggravate allergy symptoms. Mold levels are higher in late winter and early spring, especially in rainy regions. Prevent mold from entering your home by using the same precautions as those for keeping out winter pollen.
Christmas Tree Allergies
Freshly cut Christmas trees may contain winter allergens like pollen and mold, as well as strong smells that can irritate sinuses and increase allergy symptoms. Researchers recently found that after two weeks indoors, a Christmas tree can contain up to 10 times the amount of mold usually found inside. If you or or family are allergic to the Christmas tree, try hosing it down before bringing it inside, or opt for an artificial tree.
Tips for Reducing Wintertime Allergies
In addition to keeping the windows closed and avoiding tracking in allergens, these tips can help you breathe easier this winter:
- Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to help prevent mold and expel other allergens outdoors.
- Vacuum the house often with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner and dust thoroughly with an electrostatic dusting cloth.
- Choose a high-quality HVAC filter to trap smaller particles.
- Keep the indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent to reduce dust mite populations and prevent mold growth.
For more expert tips to reduce winter allergens in your Woodlands area home, contact Bradbury Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.
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