Beating Allergies during the Ragweed Season

allergiesThe ragweed season brings along with it crippling allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, close to 20% of Americans suffer from ragweed allergies which are also known as hay fever. Ragweed is prevalent throughout United States and a single plant can yield up to a billion grains of pollen.

This explains why these allergens are almost everywhere. In late summer when the flowers starts releasing their pollen, cases of running nose and itchy eyes become common.

For people who suffer allergies, ragweed pollen can worsen the situation. Sufferers of this allergy experience headaches, trouble sleeping as well as asthma attacks when the pollen levels shoot. Fortunately, while you can’t control outside air as much, you can take the necessary steps to protect the quality of your indoor air and create a safe environment for you and your family.

HVAC Systems and Indoor Air Quality

In your home, the source of pollen can be your pets, your clothes, as well as open windows and doors. This means you ought to have an excellent ventilation system to filter out the irritants and let in pollutant-free air to protect your respiratory system.

Ventilation is a critical part of your HVAC system which means you may already be having the necessary tools to deal with the situation. If you have a central AC, it is important you get the highest rated air filter so as to remove every trace of pollen from the air.

Filters come in two main categories; washable and disposable. Washable filters give you a longer useful life because when clogged with dirt, they are thoroughly washed and put back. On the other hand, disposable filters ought to be removed and trashed after use.

The question most homeowners ask is how often to replace the filters. According to the Energy Protection Agency, filters should be removed at least once every three months whether washable or disposable. However, in areas that have lots of dust, debris and pollen, the filters may have to be replaced once per month.

In addition to the filters, you should also install a variable speed fan or set your conventional fan to on. This means the fan will be blowing always thus keeping air circulation going on continuously throughout your home even in circumstances when the HVAC equipment isn’t actively cooling or heating. In the event you do not use forced air HVAC, you may consider installing a standalone ventilator with a relatively high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) so that your indoor air can be clean and filtered always.

Ensure you service your ventilator regularly so that it can work efficiently to protect your indoor air quality and keeping the ragweed pollen at bay. Talking to a HVAC expert on this may also help you get further assistance on how to fix this problem.

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