Fall and winter allergies are a serious problem for thousands of Colorado residents. While everyone else is enjoying a this great time of year and thinking about little else other than taking a walk in the crisp weather and wearing their favorite sweater, people with allergies are suffering through runny noses and itchy eyes.
Do you get fall or winter allergies, even indoors?
If so, it could be that your HVAC system is working against you—but the good news is that with a little elbow grease, you can DIY your way to indoor allergy relief year round. In today’s post, we’re going to be discussing how to make sure that your HVAC system is clean, filtering the air properly, and actively preventing you from experiencing indoor allergies.
Let’s begin by taking a look at some of the most common causes of indoor allergies and what you can do about them:
The Primary Causes of Indoor Allergies During Fall & What to Do About It
The main reason for fall allergies indoors are dust, animal dander, pollen making its way inside, and even dust mites (which, as you might guess from their name, thrive in dusty environments). All of these allergy triggers are quite small and can often be hard to spot, even inside. In all but the most extreme cases, indoor allergies can be alleviated with a thorough cleaning of your home, including your HVAC system.
We’ll touch on how to maintain, clean, and otherwise ensure that your HVAC system isn’t making your allergies worse in a moment. First, a few tips on household cleaning:
- Get a HEPA filter for your vacuum. These filters are specially designed to capture even the smallest dust particles—if any allergens are hiding in your carpet, this will make sure they stay out after being vacuumed up.
- Start dusting surfaces in the home with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is cheap and widely available and is capable of picking up very fine dust.
- Clean your windows and fans
- Take down all cloth home accessories such as curtains, rugs, or linens, and wash them
- Clean and maintain your HVAC system (our next topic).
In the next section, we’ll examine how your HVAC system can play a part in these problems and how to maintain it to reduce or eliminate indoor fall allergies.
Performing a DIY HVAC Inspection to Prevent Seasonal Allergies in Your Home
As we discussed above, the main reason for indoor allergies is dust. But what if you keep a clean home, and yet you’re still getting allergies, even when you’re not outside?
Let’s take a look at a few easy DIY maintenance tasks you can perform to make sure that the problem isn’t your HVAC system.
There’s a reasonably good chance that the problem might have to do with your HVAC filters. This is one of the easiest DIY maintenance tasks, so you’re more than likely quite able to do it yourself. Read our post Home Blog How to Replace the Air Filters For Your Air Conditioner and Furnace & Other HVAC DIY Tips to learn how to do it for yourself. It’s easy—in a nutshell, after locating your filters, you simply remove the old ones, observe the size, and purchase a new filter at your local hardware store. Make sure that you keep a trash bag nearby so that you can put the old filter into it right away, which will prevent more dust from circulating.
After checking your filters, don’t forget to check your bathroom vent. Your bathroom vent acts as an exhaust, pulling air, dust, and humidity out of the bathroom. If it’s dirty or not working correctly, your allergies symptoms could be increased. Our post Bathroom Exhaust Vent Acting Up? Check Out These DIY Repair Tips explains how to check your bathroom exhaust, clean it, and confirm it’s in good working order.
Finally, make sure to check for leaky HVAC ducts—which is a good idea to do even if you don’t have allergies! Did you know that a leaking duct can increase your energy bill by as much as 30%? As for allergies, leaking ducts can be a possible source of dust and pollen, which will then get circulated throughout the rest of your ventilation system and thus your home.
Since that’s nothing to sneeze at, if you’ll pardon the pun, make sure you read our post Solving an Expensive Problem: DIY Repair Guide to Fixing Leaky HVAC Ducts where you’ll learn how to inspect your HVAC system for leaks without any kind of special tools or even experience; it’s an easy task that can save you a bundle and help to prevent allergies.
How Can Best Buy Heating & Air Serve You?
If you’d like to have a professional perform any of the maintenance tasks mentioned in this post, or if you’ve never had an HVAC inspection, please consider contacting us at Best Buy Heating and Air, where we offer over four decades of experience in serving the Northern Colorado area, including Loveland, Windsor, Fort Collins, and all surrounding areas.
If you’re ready to set an appointment, please feel free to make a service request here or give us a call at (970) 218-0414.