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Keep from Sneezing (in Your Houston Home)

Do you find yourself constantly sneezing in your home? There may be a problem with your indoor air quality (AIQ). If you see a direct correlation to sneezing and or sinus problems when you enter your home, there could be a number of airborne allergens directly affecting you. An indoor (or outdoor) allergy can develop after a prolonged exposure to a substance (i.e.: allergen) that the body’s defenses perceive as harmful.

We’ve compiled a list of several common indoor triggers and some easy DIY solutions that could help in reducing your symptoms.

Typical Indoor Allergy Triggers

  • House Dust Mites – These microscopic arachnids feed on flakes of human skin and flourish in warm, humid environments. Potent digestive enzymes found in the waste of dust mites are major triggers of indoor allergies.
  • House Dust – Indoor dust is a combination of several components, including dust mite debris, dead skin and outdoor pollutants.
  • Mold Spores – Mold can grow anywhere in the home where a damp area can proliferate. Leaks in the roof, under the sink and in the basement are key areas where mold can flourish. It can also grow in your home’s HVAC duct system, which is one of the worst places for it to grow. The inhalation of airborne mold spores can trigger hay fever symptoms and asthma.
  • Plants – While common houseplants are not normally considered allergy triggers, some people are allergic to certain plants. A few ornamental plants that are known to cause allergic reactions include chrysanthemums, roses, spider plants and tulips (though the list a long one). One of the more common plant/allergy triggers is the development of mold in soil that is overly watered.
  • Pet Dander – Dander is the microscopic material (composed mainly of skin cells) shed by various animals. Similar to dandruff in humans, it can transported through the air where it can enter the lungs and trigger allergies in some people.

Indoor Allergen Solutions

  • HVAC Filter – Change out your HVAC filter with the highest MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating for residential use. Get a pleated air filter rated from 9 -12 and make sure you change it out once a month.

More on Merv Ratings

  • Vacuum – If you have carpets, vacuum frequently with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. Vacuum floors and places where dust tends to accumulate including under the bed, behind shelves and areas around floor registers.
  • Dust – Dust your home with a microstatic cloth. Blinds, ceiling fan blades, picture frames and closet floors are places dust collects that people tend to miss. Tyr to thoroughly dust your home once every week.
  • Wash Linens – Dust mites are attracted to bedding and thrive warm, unattended areas. Wash your bedding every week in hot water. Also, make sure that your linens are completely dry before making the bed.
  • Keep Low Humidity – Dust mites also flourish where the humidity is high. Houston can be very humid, even in the winter. Keep the humidity levels low with a dehumidifier, which will also help with mold and fungus.
  • Groom Pets Outside – If you are allergic to pet dander, try to groom your dog or cat outside. Brushing your shedding pet outdoors will help keep the dander in the air down to a minimum.

If you are still having problems with your air quality after trying these basic steps, contact Universal Home Experts today. We have several indoor air quality solutions that our experts can tailor to your home’s specific needs. Call us at (713) 364-0226 and we’ll start an air improvement program to help fight those allergy triggers.