Allergies are uncomfortable and distracting to deal with. Worse, indoor air pollution can be several times more polluted than outdoor air. That’s bad news for allergy sufferers who want to minimize their exposure to allergens. Fortunately, air quality solutions can help you better deal with allergies and experience fewer or less severe symptoms. If you’re struggling with allergies at home in Commerce, MI, your indoor air quality could need improvement through certain air quality solutions.
Types of Allergens in the Home
Allergens are harmless to many people, but allergy sufferers can experience mild to severe symptoms. Common allergens that are triggers for allergy sufferers and their sources include:
- Tree and grass pollen (hay fever)
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Cockroaches and their debris
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
It’s not always possible to identify which allergens are causing reactions, and there may be several at once. An HVAC professional can identify and track the levels of allergens in your home with an indoor air quality evaluation.
Symptoms of Allergies
Allergies refer to what happens when the immune system reacts to foreign substances by creating antibodies. People with allergies have specific triggers in the form of allergens, which are substances that can cause an allergic reaction, although it is possible to be allergic to many things.
What can trigger allergies can also trigger an asthma attack. The symptoms of allergies or asthma can range from minor to severe and even be life-threatening, depending on the person’s immune reaction. The three main symptoms of allergies that are most common are:
- Eye allergies
- Skin allergies
The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention as it is life-threatening. Symptoms of anaphylaxis often affect multiple parts of the body, such as the skin or mouth, the gut, the lungs, and the heart.
If you have allergies or asthma that is triggered by allergens in your home, consider an indoor air quality evaluation by a trained and certified HVAC technician. One or more air quality solutions can decrease the severity of your allergy symptoms as well as their frequency of occurrence.
Types of Air Quality Solutions
Allergens make contact with people most often through the air, where they are inhaled or land on the body. There are several air quality solutions for allergies, and these will depend on your needs.
The first and most essential is the air filter, which removes allergens from the air and keeps your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency. It is available for wide-spectrum or specific allergy sufferers.
Next is the air purifier, which provides even greater indoor air quality. It removes allergens from the air and is available as a whole-home or single-room solution.
If the air in your home is too humid, you need a dehumidifier to eliminate excess moisture. A dehumidifier is good for basements and other humid areas of the home, as excess humidity can cause property damage and respiratory issues if left unchecked.
On the other hand, if the air in your home is too dry, you need a humidifier to add moisture. A humidifier is good for single rooms and for anyone who experiences irritation and respiratory problems from dry air.
Differences in Air Purifiers
Your HVAC system has an air filter, which keeps it running efficiently. It does not remove allergens from the home, which the air purifier does. By decreasing the number of allergens in the home after cleaning, an air purifier can reduce symptoms of allergies or asthma, the severity of symptoms, or their frequency. It does so by targeting a variety of allergens with a minimum size of microns. Airborne particles can be extremely small:
- Cat dander: 1-20 microns
- Dust mite particles: 20 microns
- Pollen grains: 30 microns
It is essential that the air purifier fits the size of the room. This will depend on the room’s square footage and the power of its fan motor. Its mechanism will work either actively or passively, although most air purifiers on the market today use passive air intake.
Another important aspect of the air purifier is the type of air filter it has. The HEPA filter is the most well-known type of filter, and it is made of pleated, dense fiberglass. A “true HEPA filter” is the only HEPA filter that can filter up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger.
An activated carbon filter may come with your air purifier, especially if it has a HEPA filter, for which it serves as a pre-filter. It quickly absorbs the fumes of VOCs, gases, and foul odors.
Another type of filter is the ULPA filter. ULPA stands for Ultra-Low Penetration Air. It removes up to 99.99% of particles that are 0.1 microns or larger.
Some air purifiers use electrostatic and light mechanisms. Negative ionization or ionic technology uses the creation of a small but powerful electrical field that uses negative ions to draw in particles and weigh them down, making them fall onto the floor or other surfaces nearby. Ultra-violet (UV) light uses UV-C light to sanitize the air coming in by killing pathogens at the DNA level, then capturing them with a filter.
Some air purifiers use mechanical as well as electrostatic filtration. They may have extra features such as UV light or a dehumidifier.
There are several options for an air purifier, but only certain ones may meet your needs. An HVAC technician can evaluate your home and specific rooms to help you choose an air purifier for your needs.
What Air Quality Solution Is Best for Allergies?
It is important for you to determine the allergens that are triggering your allergies or asthma. They each have a size range, so when you choose an air filter or an air purifier, you can select the appropriate type of filter. Alternatively, you can choose an ionic or UV light air cleaner for extra air freshening power.
Another important step to help you decide on an air purifier is the room you will need it for. Whether it’s a bedroom, living room, play area, or another room in the house, your air purifier works effectively when it’s the right size. If it’s too large, it will cycle too rapidly; if it’s too small, it will work all the time to try to filter all the air.
When considering the humidity in your home’s air, consult an HVAC professional to measure the humidity levels and determine if it is within a normal range for your needs. A whole-home evaluation can determine any problem areas that may require a humidifier or dehumidifier to resolve.
Improve Your Allergies in Commerce
At Matheson Heating, we care about the air you breathe at home. Since your home should be your refuge, you should not have to suffer from allergies indoors. You can count on us to provide prompt, reliable, and thorough indoor air quality services in Commerce, MI. We also offer heating, cooling, and plumbing services. To learn more about our air quality solutions and how they can improve allergies, contact us.