Fall begins as the weather changes, temperatures drop, leaves fall, and plants begin releasing pollen into the air. People often assume seasonal allergies can only affect them during spring. However, they can hit during the fall. Itchy eyes, sneezing, and a stuffy nose are the common symptoms shown by those who get fall allergies. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to harmless substances or allergens. Your body releases a chemical that intensifies your allergic symptoms to defend against these intruders.
Fall allergens include ragweed, dust mites, mildew, pet dander, and mold from fallen leaves. Ragweed, the most common allergen, has a flower that produces large amounts of pollen. Fall allergies are categorized as allergic rhinitis and are more likely to antagonize you if you have asthma or eczema. Below are some tips on keeping the allergens from intruding into your home.
Limit Amount of Outdoor Air Entering Your Home
Fall is that time of the year we like to keep our windows open, allowing the fresh air in. This keeps the home cool. However, this allows outdoor air to get in. The outdoor air can contain allergens like pollen produced from ragweed, causing allergic reactions for those affected. If you can, limit the time you keep your windows open, reducing the amount of air getting in. If pollen levels in your home are high, you should use your air conditioner to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. It might also be a good idea to check around the home for air leaks. Placing a draft stopper under the exterior doors of the home can also prevent allergens from seeping into the home.
Get a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers help remove dust and mold from your home, easing breathing complications. Dust mites and mildew thrive in damp conditions, which are common during fall. A dehumidifier will ensure these allergens don’t invade your home to prevent allergic symptoms. The dehumidifier should be in the room where you spend most of your day. You can use an air conditioner to dehumidify your home as well.
Check Pollen Levels and Mold Counts
There are devices developed to help you know the levels of allergens in the air. Once you know the number of allergens in your area, you can dress accordingly to limit the amount of allergens you come in contact with. Checking pollen levels allows you to make wise decisions when heading out.
Change Your Linens After Going Out
Clothes are a carrier for allergens as they come in contact with many of these substances when you’re outside. You can bring the allergens into your home and spread them to other areas you come into contact with, especially the bedding and couch coverings. Be sure to wash your sheets, curtains, and couch cover weekly. It helps to wash your hands when going into your house after being outside. Change your clothes and take a shower to get the allergens not only off your clothes but also your body. Wash the clothes to remove the pollen.
Clean Your Yard
As a necessary precaution, ensure your yard is clean of debris and fallen leaves during autumn. The piling leaves provide a habitat for dust and mold. The leaves may blow to other areas, spreading the allergens. As you enjoy the outdoors, you come into contact with this allergen which you later take into your home. You should rake the leaves and dispose of them. Ensure you wear protective gear like gloves and a mask as you remove the debris since you may come into contact with pollen and other allergens.
Ensure Your Home Is Regularly Cleaned
Keeping your home clean ensures the allergens are removed before they accumulate. As you clean, make sure all vents are cleaned to remove dust and mold that might be growing. Use damp cloths to wash your home, which removes the dust without spreading it. At the same time, vacuum your home to remove mold and dust. Clean the shower curtains, as the bottom edge is a prime thriving spot for mold due to dampness. You should have your carpets and rugs cleaned regularly to remove accumulated dust.
Cleaning your home rids it of bacteria, allergens, and accumulated dirt. It would help if you disposed of food waste by bagging it and placing the garbage in a can with an insect-free lid. Your kitchen should be free of food crumbs to keep away rodents that may bring in allergens. Remove the clutter in your home by removing items that can collect dust. It would be best to store children’s toys in plastic bins after you clean them.
Change Your Furnace Filter
Some allergy-friendly furnaces are fitted with filters designed to capture pollen and other allergens. You should change your filter to keep the allergens away from your home. Your furnace should run on low to allow circulation of air. Dirt may also accumulate before your regular maintenance schedules. Be sure to change the filter.
Buy Allergy-Free Plants
While purchasing plants for your home, understand that some improve your home’s air quality. Plants like English ivy, devil’s ivy, peace lily, and florist’s ivy are allergy-free. When your windows are closed, these plants can improve your home’s air quality as they don’t produce any pollen.
Duct Cleaning and HVAC Maintenance
If you are prone to allergies during fall, make sure your ducts are cleaned of allergens like pollen, dust, mold, and ragweed that have accumulated in your vents. Cleaning your ducts and having a maintenance check performed on your unit ensures the air quality is good.
Stay Indoors in the Morning
Morning hours usually register peak levels of pollen. If you are prone to pollen allergies, staying indoors during these hours is wise in order to avoid any allergic reactions. During days with high pollen levels, try to stay indoors for as long as possible. If you go outside, cover your skin to avoid contact with these allergens. The evenings present the best time to go out as the pollen levels are at their lowest.
Symptoms of fall allergies can present themselves differently for everyone. Depending on which part of your body has made contact with the allergen, they can also change. The most common symptoms include:
- A runny nose
- Itchy eyes
- Difficulty in breathing
- An itchy throat
- An upset stomach
- Dry skin
Allergic reactions in seniors pose an imminent risk. We are often asked about the best time to seek medical attention for your allergies. Seniors prone to allergies should visit the nearest medical center immediately if they notice any symptoms. With younger children, symptoms are hard to detect. However, once you see the signs, you should begin immediate treatment at home, and if the symptoms persist or intensify, see a doctor or go to the nearest hospital.
Being NCI-, EnergyStar-, and EPA-certified, Southland Heating & Air Conditioning provides the best HVAC services in Newbury, CA. Our highly trained professionals offer quality heating and air conditioning service. With over 10 years of experience, we aim to provide the best customer service in the area. Contact Southland Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule any needed services.