In Calgary, where we get strong winds and dry air, those suffering from seasonal allergies find springtime particularly challenging. According to MyHealth.Alberta, tree pollens are commonly dispersed over winter and spring. By late spring and early summer, grass pollens are in the air. Later in the fall, weed pollens can become quite severe – especially for those who react to ragweed.
To avoid the itchy eyes, running nose, and coughing caused by seasonal allergies, there is not a great deal a person can do. Many will take over-the-counter antihistamines and avoid going outside as much as possible.
The trouble is that pollen, dust, and other allergens can follow you indoors.
Fortunately, getting your ducts and furnace cleaned on an annual basis can help to remove, or at least minimize, this source of irritation.
How do allergens get into your home?
The easiest way for pollen and dust to enter your home is through an open window. Many allergens will hitch a ride on shoes and clothing, or cling to a family pet.
While a high-performance furnace filter can remove many of these allergens (especially filters rated 1500 MPR or higher), sometimes particles settle and accumulate in your home’s duct network. Turning on the air conditioner or furnace can expel these irritants back into your living area.
Are seasonal allergies acting when your AC or furnace is on?
If you have seasonal allergies and notice your symptoms are particularly bad, even though you haven’t been outside, here are four things you can do:
1. Be extra vigilant with sweeping and dusting
Don’t forget to get under the couch and behind furniture where dust bunnies can collect.
2. Keep your windows and patio doors closed
While screens will keep bugs out, they don’t protect against allergens.
3. Check your furnace filter
If it’s dirty, change it. This can make a noticeable difference!
4. Clean your ducts
If you’re still feeling itchy eyes, a stuffed-up nose and the urge to sneeze – particularly when the furnace motor or air conditioner is on – it may be time to book a duct cleaning appointment.
How does duct cleaning remove seasonal allergens?
The technician will clean the ductwork using a high speed rotary brush in combination with high-pressure air to dislodge dust and debris. This is done at each of your vents, around your furnace motor and blower, and at duct access points close to your furnace. A large hose connected to the furnace from the high-volume truck mounted vacuum then sucks all contaminants and debris from the ducts.
In most homes, duct cleaning is only required every 2-3 years. Seasonal allergy sufferers may choose to get this done annually for added comfort and peace of mind.
Every bit helps!
Short of sealing yourself inside a plastic bubble, it’s impossible for those who suffer from seasonal allergies to avoid pollen and dust entirely. We hope these suggestions help you to at least escape your symptoms from the comfort of your own home as you wait-out allergy season.