How to Remove The Three Most Common Allergens In Your Home

Approximately 50 million North Americans suffer from indoor allergies.

Let’s face it, indoor allergens are the worst! They cause runny noses, sneezing, itchy eyes and make it difficult to breathe. Here at Afterglow, we want your home’s air to be as clean as possible, and for homeowners, that means understanding what indoor allergens you’re dealing with.

Here are the three main allergens Waterloo Region families will experience this spring and how to fight them:

1. Dust mites

Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on things like dust and hair. Gross, right? They thrive in warmer environments like rugs, upholstery, and bedding and are the most common trigger for indoor allergy sufferers — making them a major annoyance.

How to get rid of them: It’s impossible to completely remove dust mites from your home, but there are a few things you can do to reduce them in your home:

  • Wash blankets and bedding at least once a week in hot water.
  • When dusting, use a wet or damp cloth.
  • Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture once a week.
  • Purchase a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home — this will keep dust mites from multiplying.

2. Mold

Mold is an indoor allergen that thrives in damp, humid areas like bathrooms and basements. Mold releases dangerous spores that can cause breathing issues and, in cases of poisonous molds, brain damage or death.

How to get rid of it: Combatting mold growth is a matter of reducing dampness in your home. If mold’s an indoor allergen you’re having issues with, here are a few ways to remove/reduce it:

  • Fix leaky pipes and check your HVAC system for standing water.
  • Use a mix of bleach and water to clean mold from surfaces.
  • Use a dehumidifier in particularly humid or damp areas, like your basement.
  • Consider HEPA air cleaner to reduce spores. 

3. Pet Dander

Pet dander is the flakes of dead skin produced when a pet with fur sheds. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not your pet’s fur that causes allergies to worsen, but an allergen in the dander.

How to get rid of it: Like dust mites, pet dander cannot completely be removed from your home. Here’s some ways to reduce indoor allergens caused by pets:

  • Minimize pet contact on rugs, upholstered furniture, and bedding.
  • Vacuum once a week.
  • If your pet has to be on the furniture, use slip covers, towels, or blankets to trap pet dander and hair.
  • Brush your pet daily and bathe them regularly.
  • HEPA air cleaner will remove pet dander.

Did you know regular springtime HVAC maintenance can reduce indoor allergens in your home? Call Afterglow today (519-747-7732) and schedule an appointment!

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Home Ventilation: What is it and How Can You Improve it?

Diving a little deeper into ventilation; the “V” in HVAC.

What Do You Mean When Mean When We Say Ventilation?

Ventilation means replacing old air in a home with new air from outside to improve the indoor air quality. Out with the dust, smoke, odours, moisture and even bacteria. In with the new fresh air.

Why Is Home Ventilation Important?

Proper home ventilation also keeps your family healthy and home comfortable. Whether it’s from a forced air system, natural ventilation, or other mechanical means, home ventilation systems rid your home of airborne particles, like allergens, that can cause health issues.

Additionally, ventilation systems control the humidity and moisture levels in your home, saving you from uncomfortably humid rooms and structural damage caused by excess moisture.

Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are the biggest sources of moisture and odours in your home. If you’re experiencing excess moisture in your home, one solution is installing exhaust fans. Take it to the next level and capture the energy you’d be losing by simply exhausting this air out with a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).

How Can You Improve Your Home’s Ventilation?

If you are experiencing poor ventilation, there are a few things you can do to help circulate the air and remove pollutants from your home:

FurnaceFilter Ventilation1. Purchase a high-efficiency furnace filter for your HVAC unit. High-efficiency furnace filters trap more particles than normal furnace filters, keeping the air you breathe healthier — look for MERV 8 rating and above.

Tip: It’s important to keep in mind that higher MERV ratings are not always a good thing. Furnaces are built to operate with certain airflows, so using a different air filter than what it was built for can cause problems. To find out what kind of MERV you currently have (and if yours can handle a higher rating), check the side of your filter, the packaging it came in or contact us.

Cellphone2. Call an HVAC professional. If nothing else is working to increase the ventilation in your home, you may have problems with your primary ventilation system or your home’s natural ventilation. If you decide you do need an HVAC professional, contact Afterglow: 519-747-7732.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.