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Heating & Air News

What Causes Indoor Allergies?

Posted by pkendig on March 05, 2018

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Allergy season hits Richmond, Virginia hard. In fact, RVA usually ranks as one of the least allergy friendly cities in the nation, especially during springtime. Dust mites, pets, mold, cockroaches, pollen, and cigarettes are the most common causes of indoor allergy problems. There’s not a lot that can be done about the pollen outside, but there are a variety of ways to combat allergens inside the home.

The first step to indoor allergy relief is figuring out which allergens are plaguing your residential home.

Who Suffers from Allergies?

  • Approximately 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer nasal allergies in the U.S.
  • Roughly 7-8% of adults suffer from hay fever
  • 10-30% of the worldwide population have allergic rhinitis, which is triggered by an allergen and characterized by sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, and rhinorrhea
  • Asthma and other allergic diseases, including food allergies, impact 17 million adults and 6 million children
  • The button below will take you to simple online test that can help determine if you or a family member suffer from allergies, but please keep in mind that this test doesn’t replace the need to consult with a doctor or allergy specialist

Take An Asthma & Allergy Test Here

Take Asthma & Allergy Test

Allergens in the Home that Cause Problems

Dust and Dust Mites

Scary_Dust_Mite.jpgDid you know that dust mites are the most common cause of allergies inside the home? You might be surprised to learn dust mites die when the humidity falls below 50% (not great news for Richmonders). Dust mites live in pillows, mattresses, carpeting, and upholstered furniture and are one of the primary causes of asthma in children.

Cockroaches

Sorry folks, Richmond is no exception to cockroach infestations, especially if you live in the city. The thought of a cockroach infestation makes most people squirm, but few are aware that 26% of people are actually allergic to their presence. They’re very sneaky little bugs, so know how to spot a cockroach infestation.

Pet Hair, Fur or Feathers

Approximately 15% of people are allergic to household pets. Dogs and cats are the most common allergies, but people can also be allergic to rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and ferrets. Surprisingly, people can even have allergies to reptiles and birds.

If someone in the family suffers from pet allergies, getting a pet fish might be a fun alternative.

Pollen

In Richmond, pollen is primarily a seasonal issue. Pollen sticks to everything, especially clothes, hair, etc. Brush off clothing before entering the house, or you may even want to consider changing clothes and taking a shower as soon as you get home to avoid tracking it around the house.

attic-1200361.jpgCigarettes

Studies show second hand smoke exasperates symptoms of allergies and asthma. Not smoking indoors is the easiest way to solve this problem, but if that isn’t an option, you may want to consider installing an exhaust or indoor ventilation system to carry cigarette smoke out of the house.

How Your HVAC Could Help with Allergies

Air duct inefficiencies are a problem for people with allergies, because leaks can pull dust or mold spores into your home.

Howell’s Heating & Air can test your duct system and airflow to identify problem areas and ensure dust and other allergens aren’t getting in through the attic, garage, or crawl spaces.

Contact Howell’s Heating & Air to learn more about strategies that could help reduce indoor allergens in your Richmond home.

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Topics: indoor air quality, ductwork, indoor allergy relief, system testing

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