The Keys to Surviving the Allergy Season!
Yes, there is a fall allergy season, in addition to spring season, and Ragweed is one of the main culprits for our suffering. Ragweed is the most common allergy trigger of hay fever in the fall, although mold is another common cause. Seventeen species of ragweed grow throughout the United States.
If you have seasonal allergy issues, you probably know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t help that we also have a real long fall season for growing; I enjoy my fall vegetables as much as the next person but it lends itself to misery in some cases. Let’s talk about the best ways to prep for the upcoming heating season and the most important things to consider when dealing with those dreaded fall allergies.
2) Change your air filter ~ Dirty filters can’t collect or filter out the pollen bombarding your home. Go to a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rated filter. This value measures the performance of air purifiers, specifically large purifiers intended to clean an entire house or building. The higher the MERV # rating, the better the filter is at handling all the airborne trash! Not only will you breathe easier, clean filters use less energy and will help lower your energy costs. Also use a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner to help eliminate pollen, dust, and mold.
3) Clean the Air Ducts ~ Before turning on the heat for the first time have your home’s air ducts cleaned. Mold, dust, debris, and other allergens collect in vents during the summer months and will be blown into your home as soon as the heat is turned on. Once you turn off the A/C things start to dry out & become more likely to get airborne; adding heat to this scenario just sets you up for a big allergic reaction on the first heater cycle. Do you remember that awful burning smell the last time the furnace first kicked on? That smell is “the burning of some pretty unhealthy stuff” and it’s all blowing right into your home.
4) Keep the Allergens Outside ~ Leave jackets and shoes at the door to keep from bringing pollen inside. Shower at night and wash your hair to eliminate pollen that’s collected during the day on your skin and hair. If you have pets that go outside, keep them off the furniture and bathe them frequently to wash off pollen and minimize dander.