Your kid’s bedroom is his or her very own place to play and dream. At least it’s supposed to be. It can also be the perfect breeding ground for allergens, dust mites, pet dander, and even mold that can leave your little ones sneezing and sniffling. And of course these symptoms happen most often when they’re supposed to be falling asleep at night (great, something else to keep them awake). Over 50 million Americans are affected by allergies. And as we head into prime allergy season here in Indiana, it’s only more important to protect their room from allergens.
Keeping allergens out of your kid’s bedroom may seem like an impossible feat. There are tons of tips out there parents can do to lower the risk of child allergies in the bedroom, like:
- Washing their bed sheets
- Washing their stuffed animals
- Using a damp cloth to dust their shelves
- Vacuuming the floor
- Keeping windows closed
- Keeping family pets out
These are all steps you can take to help alleviate those night-time and play-time allergy attacks. But with nearly all of the parents we talk with, there’s one thing being ignored when it comes to allergy protection…
It’s your HVAC system.
There is a big connection parents are largely unaware of when it comes to home allergies and their heating and air conditioning system. Your HVAC system moves warm air in the winter, and cool air in the summer, throughout your entire home. When allergens get into your system, and trust us–they do, they get spread throughout your house along with forced air through your vents. So no matter what preventive measures you take, allergens will always find a way back into your child’s bedroom. That’s why more homeowners are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to protecting their homes and addressing their HVAC system when it comes to allergy prevention.
There are four things parents can do to their indoor heating and air conditioning system that will greatly reduce the allergen risks for their home. Let’s explore these tactics and how each will have a benefit for your kids.
1. Start Using HEPA Filters
A common misconception is that the air filters in your air conditioner and furnace will protect your home from allergens. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not true. They protect your HVAC systems, not your lungs. The truth is they keep large debris and dirt from damaging the equipment. You need a specific HVAC filter to remove and prevent allergens from entering your indoor air. They’re called high-energy particulate air filters, or HEPA filters. HEPA filters are the best front line defense for in-home allergies because they are made from layers of glass fibers formed into pleated paper-like material.
So, what does that mean? Because of the material used in HEPA filters, they will trap more than 99 percent of pollen, dust, and even smoke before it ever enters your HVAC system. Often times, these types of filters will need to be retrofitted into your existing HVAC system, but can be a very impactful.
2. Installing a Whole-House Dehumidifier
Two of the biggest indoor allergens are dust mites and mold. What do dust mites and mold have in common? They both thrive in humid environments. The humidity in Indiana can really ramp up in the summertime, but your home can be susceptible to increase humidity throughout the year. What do you think causes your bathroom mirror fog up when you get out of a hot shower? Yep, humidity.
The best way to help remove both mold and dust mites in the home is by decreasing humidity levels to under 50 percent. Installing a whole-house dehumidifier can help keep humidity levels in your child’s bedroom, and every room of your home, at a low level–reducing the burden of these common allergy triggers.
3. Actually Remembering to Schedule HVAC Preventative Maintenance
There are plenty of things inside your HVAC systems that often cause allergy-related issues. Things like dirty cooling coils, fan motors, drain pans, blades, and other components can cause contaminants and moisture to enter your home. Dirty equipment also puts a burden on your system, causing it to use more energy which increases your utility bills, and wears parts out faster, which can cause costly repairs down the road. If you haven’t done regular preventative maintenance on your heating and cooling equipment yet, you really should. We go to the dentist twice a year to get our teeth checked. You should have your HVAC systems checked twice a year too.
4. Having Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Another haven for dust, pollen, moisture, and other common allergens is inside your air ducts. When your air conditioner or furnace circulate air throughout your home, they also are circulating all of that junk makes your kids sneeze indoors. Calling in professionals every 3-5 years to perform an air duct cleaning in your home is highly recommended to reduce those pesky allergens. A typical air duct cleaning takes a couple hours, and does a lot to ensure day-to-day comfort and indoor air quality, including a complete inspection of all of the air ducts in your home.
After the inspection, a high-powered blower and HEPA filtered vacuum is hooked into your duct system. Air duct cleaning tools are used in your ducts to agitate and dislodge any dirt, before getting sucked out through a vacuum hose and out of your home for good.
Trust Homesense in Indianapolis to Help Protect Your Home From Allergies
Indiana allergies are so difficult to deal with, and difficult for your children to live with. Having their bedroom be a sanctuary away from sneezing can go a long way in helping them breathe easier in the home (and hey, maybe it will help them get a little more sleep… but no guarantees there).
For all of the Indy Moms Blog readers, we’re offering a special on air duct cleanings through August 31, 2019. Take $100 off an air duct cleaning of your home, and help produce a healthier indoor environment for your family.
Request a free air duct cleaning quote from Homesense today! And be sure to mention this article when you call us!