Do you, or someone in your family have asthma or allergies? If so, did you know that indoor air pollution can trigger people’s symptoms? As a matter of fact, most people don’t know it but, in most homes, indoor air pollution levels can be a lot higher than they are outside – as much as five times higher.
There are numerous sources of indoor air pollution, including household cleaners, bug sprays, harsh chemical drain cleaners, scented candles, body sprays, hairspray, room sprays, and allergens, such as mold, pollen, and dust mites.
What are the most common indoor allergens?
- Mold, especially from moist environments like the bathroom or basement where there has been a flood;
- Pet dander, which comes from skin flakes, saliva, and also urine; and
- Dust mites and cockroach droppings.
“How do indoor allergens cause allergy symptoms?” It all has to do with them becoming airborne. Once they are flying in the air, people can breathe them in and as a result, have an allergic reaction to the allergen. So, what does your HVAC system have to do with indoor allergens? The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in homes can collect indoor allergens and spread them throughout a home when the heater or air conditioner is turned on.
Regular HVAC Maintenance is Key
You can clean your home, but that will only go so far. No amount of cleaning can prevent allergens from being harbored in an HVAC system. The best way to control indoor allergens aside from using non-toxic cleaners and having no pets (this is too much to ask most people), is to change your HVAC filters on a regular basis.
Change your filters regularly, according to the manufacturer's recommendations or every two months while you’re using your furnace or air conditioner. If you’re concerned that mold could be growing in your air conditioning system, it’s a good idea to have the air ducts professionally cleaned. Signs of mold in the AC system include a musty odor coming from the vents or mold particles growing on one of the system components or near the ducts.