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Summer Allergies & Indoor Air Quality

Posted in Air Quality, on May 28, 2018

After a long winter (and even longer spring), summer is here, which can unfortunately bring with it a host of summer allergies. While we’re happy to see the end of the flu, the sniffles aren’t over for some of us, especially while indoor air quality affects your summer allergies. The worst part of allergies is that we often don’t recover for weeks or even months - unlike the flu, which is usually gone within a fortnight. Many homeowners aren’t aware of how indoor air quality affects your summer allergies and the ways in which it can be improved and adjusted to help reduce their affect.

The Effect of Summer Allergies

If you’re lucky enough not to suffer from seasonal allergies, don’t leave this page just yet. Indoor air quality affects your summer allergies as well as your year round health, and you might be surprised to realize that something in your indoor air quality is causing you to feel bad. The most common effects of allergies are:

  • itchy, watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • congestion

But some allergies are not as easy to identify. They may cause confusion, dizziness or skin irritation as well - symptoms that are shared with a great many other health issues. Knowing how your indoor air quality affects your summer allergies can often be the first clue in identifying the cause.

The Causes of Summer Allergies

Indoor air quality affects your summer allergies in many different ways, and can be caused by a number of different allergens in the atmosphere. Knowing what these are and what might affect you is the first step is protecting you and your family from excessive exposure.

Three of the most common causes of summer allergies are:

  • Pollen: The most common spring, summer, and fall allergen of all, all those beautiful blooming trees, bushes, and flowers can put out a lot of pollen that can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. Some people may be allergic to many types of pollen, while others may only be allergic to trees, or flowering bushes - your doctor can help you pinpoint what exactly causes your symptoms
  • Mold: With the warmth and water of spring comes the potential for mold growth inside our homes come summer, which can make for a very unpleasant indoor environment! Any leaks, drips, or musty smells should be thoroughly investigated before they become major infestations, which can seriously harm your health and even the structure of your home.
  • Smog: As the temperature soars, so can smog and other pollutants - paying attention to smog warnings can help you know when to shut the windows and stay inside.

How Poor Indoor Air Quality Triggers Allergies

It’s commonly thought that only outdoor air quality triggers summer allergies, but indoor air quality affects your summer allergies just as much - and sometimes even more. Let’s take an in depth look at how indoor air quality and summer allergies are aggravated by one common cause, pollen. While you may believe that higher concentrations of pollen are floating around outside of your home, there may be equally as high concentrations inside. Open windows, doors, clothing, and shoes can all track pollen and other plant based allergens inside the home. Once those allergens are in, they can sometimes get stuck due to too much or too little ventilation, poor air circulation, or too much or too little humidity. Once the air conditioner goes on, your indoor air is often only recirculated instead of being refreshed, meaning that those allergens are never filtered out. This kind of indoor environment is not only uncomfortable, but it can also be unsafe, especially if you’re experiencing an effect more serious than a sniffle. Poor indoor air quality is known to worsen conditions like asthma or other chronic lung diseases, and has even been linked to depression and memory loss, making good indoor air quality something worth thinking about!

Indoor Air Solutions For Summer Allergies

Preventing your summer allergies from getting out of control starts by improving your indoor air quality, and there are a number of things that you can do to help reduce your symptoms.

  • Use HEPA fans or other kinds of air cleaners to filter out harmful particles and clean your indoor air
  • Control your exposure to indoor airborne allergens - if you know that daffodils cause your nose to go wild, don’t bring any indoors and keep the windows shut tight when they’re in full bloom!
  • Ventilate your home thoroughly to flush out any allergens that have gotten stuck.
  • Replace or clean the filters on your furnace or HVAC systems every 2-3 months to ensure they’re working effectively
  • Clean! Vacuum, dust, and wash linens frequently - a clean and tidy home will help prevent the buildup of allergens.
  • Pet dander can be another leading cause of summer allergies - as they slowly lose their winter coats, your dog or cat might be inadvertently adding to your allergies, and they might be tracking in pollens as well.

Test Your Indoor Air Quality

This summer, remember that your Indoor air quality affects your summer allergies just as much as the outdoors does, and ensure that you have a safe and healthy home by paying attention to your symptoms and keeping your eyes peeled for the cause of your allergies. If you don’t know where to start or suspect something is wrong in your home, get in touch with us at SafeAir, and we’d be happy to arrange indoor air quality testing to determine what might be bothering your in your home. When Indoor air quality affects your summer allergies it can make for an uncomfortable season, but it doesn’t have to - give us a call at 416-414-5690 for more information about your indoor air quality.

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