Home sneeze home – Controlling your home’s airflow can leave allergies in the dust

Home sneeze home – Controlling your home’s airflow can leave allergies in the dust

Many people welcome summer days not with smiles, but with sneezes, sniffles and sensitivity to seasonal allergies that leave them sprinting indoors.

Yet their home might not be the allergen safe haven they consider it to be. Some of those very allergens making people ill can easily come indoors — and may be residing alongside them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, which means a building’s air quality is vital to ensure proper health. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your home’s air quality.

Properly seal air leaks throughout your home.

The first step to controlling airflow in any building is to get air leaks sealed. Many homeowners are surprised by the vast number of places that air can seep into their home! Gaps, cracks and holes can be found anywhere in a house. Closing those air leaks can not only minimize allergens from entering your home, but they can also prevent your heating and cooling systems from working harder than needed, saving you energy and money.  

An energy audit can offer greater insight.

If you are interested in improving your home’s air quality, consider an energy audit. An auditor can provide an in-depth analysis of your home and should do a blower door test to determine how your home is naturally ventilating. The audit will also include actionable steps you can take to improve control of your home’s ventilation if there is too much air leakage.

Regularly check and replace your air filter.

Your house’s air conditioner likely has been working hard all summer to catch dust and other allergens from the air flowing in the home’s ducts. Over time, the dust and allergens get caught in the air filter and can overload it. Regularly checking and replacing filters when needed can help prevent a system from working harder than necessary. It also will ensure that your filter can continue to work as intended to minimize allergens in your home.

Improving your home’s airflow may help you feel better all year round. You can contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for advice on your home’s energy use, and you can visit PowerMoves.com for energy-saving tips and advice.