Tips to help seasonal allergy sufferers reduce or eliminate annoying symptoms during the coming months
Follow our six proven strategies outlined for relief from seasonal fall allergy symptoms.
Fall allergy season is almost here. For those with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) life can become miserable pretty quickly. With the arrival of all that beautiful fall color and cooler temperatures comes an increase in the 17 varieties of ragweed; three out of four people who are allergic to pollen are also allergic to ragweed.
Strategy 1: Create a Pollen Free-Environment
Eliminate pollen from your house and car during ragweed season by keeping your windows closed and the air conditioner on. Running the air conditioner also helps remove moisture from the air and helps reduce the growth of mold, which tends to make hay fever worse. In the car, be sure to flip the switch to keep air recirculating inside the vehicle and prevent outside air (and pollen) from entering.
[x_pullquote type=”right”]Running the air conditioner also helps remove moisture from the air and helps reduce the growth of mold, which tends to make hay fever worse.[/x_pullquote]Consider installing HEPA air filters to reduce the amount of pollen in the air, especially in the rooms where you spend the most time. And be sure to get a HEPA vacuum cleaner, or vacuuming might stir up pollen instead of removing it.
Replace or clean air conditioner filters frequently during allergy season for maximal effectiveness. Look for the MERV rating that tells you how well a filter can remove allergens in the home. A rating of 11-12 is about right (the higher the better).
HEPA Air Filters
High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters purify the air to medical-grade benchmarks. HEPA filters use thick, pleated material to remove more than 99 percent of airborne particulates smaller than 0.3 microns. All toxic microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and mold spores are filtered. If a HEPA filter is doing its job, it can cause considerable air restriction. The biggest challenge is that most residential air conditioning systems cannot handle in-duct HEPA filters; they simply don’t produce adequate airflow.
A viable alternative to an in-duct filter is an externally installed HEPA filter. The proper installation in a residential setting is to connect a bypass duct to the main air conditioner ductwork. A blower in the filter duct pulls air from the main duct, runs it through the HEPA filter, and then sends the filtered air back into the main airflow. A portion of the air is continuously filtered to HEPA standards without any major restriction to the volume through the air duct.