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What Does Indoor Air Quality Have to Do With Allergies?

Aloe succulent cactus plant in small pot on background of window with blinds. Humidity and quality of air in the house concept

Did you know the average American spends nearly 90 percent of life indoors? That’s why it is increasingly important to consider your indoor air quality (IAQ).

With the ongoing focus on energy efficiency, our homes are more sealed than ever before, which limits the exchange of indoor/outdoor air. If your Cedar Park home is facing air-quality issues, you may be suffering anything from minor discomfort to significant allergy or health problems. Our team at Arise Services wants to help you increase your indoor air quality so that you and your household remain healthy and comfortable.

Understand the Scope of the Allergy Issue

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), roughly 10 to 30 percent of people suffer from allergies.

Although some common allergens originate outdoors, such as cedar, grass and tree pollen, they can still make their way into your home. Dust and dust mites are present in every Texas home, causing an allergic reaction for many. Common household pets such as cats and dogs shed fur and dander, which affects air quality. Other indoor allergens may include mold, mildew, fungus, and chemicals released from paints and carpets.

Individuals react to allergens differently. Some suffer from minor sneezing and itchy eyes. Others may have significant respiratory problems that can interfere with daily life. Remedies from over-the-counter medications to treatment by an allergist can be used to battle this common ailment. However, most health care professionals will encourage avoiding allergens in the first place as the best line of defense.

Improve Air Quality with your Air Conditioner

Most heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have built-in air filters designed to address basic indoor air quality issues. Standard filters trap large particles, and with regular filter changes, this can improve your indoor air quality.

Homeowners who suffer from allergies may want to invest in a high-efficiency disposable or washable air filter, which can trap smaller particles, helping to clean the air further. When shopping for a filter, check the MERV rating to determine the size of air particulates that will be captured by that filter. Pet dander, dust, and small fibers from paper and clothing can be filtered out by a filter with a higher MERV rating.

The cooling portion of your HVAC system also dehumidifies the indoor air, which discourages the growth of other allergens such as mold and fungus.

For better filtration, Consider an Air Purifier or Air Sanitizer.

There are many different filtration systems on the market today that address a variety of indoor air quality issues.

Ultraviolet Light (UV) Cleaners. If you are concerned about bacteria or mold, you may consider the installation of an ultraviolet (UV) light that treats the air passing through the indoor coil. These were originally used in hospitals and can also kill mold and pathogens.

Electronic Filtration Systems. For whole house filtration, an electronic filtration system on your HVAC system works to capture and kill mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria, smoke, dust, dander and other air particulates. All return air first passes through this filtration system before entering your HVAC system, keeping your HVAC system clean as well.

Ionized Hydro-Peroxide Systems. For healthier air throughout the home, choose a sanitizer that releases ionized hydro-peroxides into the circulated air to capture, kill and neutralize microbials such as flu, viruses, bacteria, odors and VOCs, including sneeze germs. These units are placed in your supply duct so that your circulated air carries the ionized hydro-peroxides throughout your home for a clean, healthy, environment with no unusual or noticeable scent.

Should we Have Air Ducts Cleaned?

Air ducts carry your heated or cooled air throughout your home from your central HVAC system.

Many HVAC companies offer air duct cleaning services that use high-powered brush and/or vacuum systems to clean out air ducts.

Our simple answer to this question is a resounding NO. Due to the type of ducts commonly used in Texas, flex duct or Ductboard, we discourage clients from having ducts cleaned due to the potential for damage to the internal lining and connections of the ducts. The only time we recommend duct cleaning would be a severe situation such as whole-house mold issue or smoke damage, when the only alternative is a full duct system replacement.

Sheet metal ducts that are insulated on the outside of the metal may be safely cleaned. However, sheet metal ducts that are insulated on the inside should not be cleaned due to the potential for damage to the inner insulation, which can release fiberglass or other materials into your home.

Contact Us Today About Your Indoor Air Quality

Our professionals at Arise Services in Cedar Park, Texas, can help you find ways to reduce allergens in your home through the many different indoor air quality solutions we offer. Call us at 512-267-5000 or request service online to speak to one of our knowledgeable team members today.

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