Outdoor Allergens can be an Even Bigger Problem Indoors!

Scientific American reported that “sneezing, watery eyes and runny noses from seasonal allergies are poised to land more people in the emergency room as temperatures rise. In a study published online yesterday in GeoHealth, scientists reported that warmer winters resulting from climate change will lead to more intense pollen from oak trees, spelling more misery for allergy sufferers.” With allergy season in full swing and summer temps heating up many parts of the country it is important to know what you can do!

Pollen isn’t just an outdoor allergen. It gets into your home through cracks and crevices, comes up from the crawlspace, and comes in the front door on shoes and paws!  And houses concentrate outdoor pollutants/allergens at 5x higher inside because once the particles in the air are sucked in the particles have a difficult time getting out.

To limit the amount of allergens like pollen that get (and stay) in your home, there are a few things you can do:

  • Always remove shoes at the door. Wipe down pets’ paws as well!
  • Use two doormats, one outside and one inside of the door that you keep as clean as possible.
  • Vacuum carpets regularly with a genuine HEPA vacuum. Not “HEPA like” or “HEPA style. If  you have smooth surface flooring be sure to  Swiffer (or the equivalent) at least weekly.
  • Shower and wash hair to keep pollen and other allergens off bed linens and out of your breathing zone while you sleep. Changing clothes after you’ve been outdoors can also help. Put them straight into the laundry.
  • Air seal the house and add mechanical ventilation. People who add these kinds of systems (HRV’s) typically say they don’t feel their allergies when inside their house.

Getting a Haward Score for your home is fast and free. You’ll not only learn how your house rates in terms of indoor air quality, but our detailed report will tell you which conditions in your home are driving your score and give you concrete solutions for addressing the issues!  Poor indoor air quality aggravates many types of allergies as well as asthma.  Get your Score and learn how to make your home healthier (and more comfortable during allergy season and year-round!) Click here to begin!