Did you know allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.? Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, dealing with symptoms that can range from annoying to severe.
If you have allergies, you know how disruptive they can be to your day. No one wants to sneeze, cough, or itch while navigating their daily life. Sneezing in a work meeting? Wheezing on a dinner date? No thank you!
For people triggered by allergens common in indoor environments, it can be difficult to find a place to relax without worrying about symptoms emerging. Dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, insects, and rodents can all be found inside people’s homes, and removing these allergens isn’t as easy as dusting.
Understanding How Allergens Enter the Home
A recent study found that over 90% of homes have three or more detectable allergens present. With allergens so common in our indoor environments, they can be difficult to avoid.
The way in which homes attract allergens can vary from household to household, but there are some commonalities among indoor air pollutants. Dust mites, one of the most common allergens, are found in almost everybody’s home, living in our beds, carpet, and furniture. Mold can be found in the majority of households as well, growing in damp places such as bathrooms or crawl spaces.
Pollen is one of the most hated allergens and can easily get tracked into your household through your clothes or shoes. During peak allergy season, an open door or window could also allow pollen to enter your home and contaminate your indoor air.
Pet dander, cockroaches, and rodents are less universal but still present in many people’s homes, too.
Understanding How Allergens Enter Your Ducts
When figuring out how to reduce allergens in your home, your duct system needs to be a part of the conversation. Your duct system serves as the lungs of your home, taking in and pushing out air as your HVAC system cools or heats your home. Over time, dust and dirt can build up in your air ducts, re-entering your indoor air supply as your HVAC system performs its cycle.
Air filters do a great job of preventing dust and other contaminants from entering your air ducts. However, if you fail to replace your filters on a regular basis or buy cheap, see-through filters, dust and pollutants can start to gather in your ductsDust can also make its way into your ducts through leaks in your ductwork. Leaks can be difficult to detect, and most homeowners are unaware they have them. If your duct system is located in the basement or attic (which—let’s be honest—you don’t dust there very often!), your ductwork could be sucking in small amounts of dust and debris daily.
How Duct Cleaning Helps Reduce Allergies
If you’re an allergy sufferer, you’ve probably tried anything and everything to reduce the triggers in your home environment. But, as we mentioned above, no amount of vacuuming and dusting can remove the contaminants trapped in your ducts.
Dust, debris, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other pollutants can live inside your ductwork, entering and exiting your air supply over and over again as your HVAC system performs its cycle. Getting your ducts cleaned prevents these contaminants from being released into your indoor air.
At Four Seasons, our duct cleaners use special tools to loosen the pollutants from the sides of your ducts and a powerful H.E.P.A. vacuum filtration system to remove the debris. Up to 99.97% of dust and debris is removed during a duct cleaning, which is great news for allergy sufferers! Fewer pollutants in your ducts means less allergen triggers in your home.
Other Steps You Can Take
When it comes to reducing allergens, duct cleaning accomplishes what normal household cleaning is unable to do, but that doesn’t mean cleaning your house isn’t important too. Improving your indoor air quality can require a whole-home solution, especially if you suffer from allergies and other health conditions that are exacerbated by dust.
In addition to getting your ducts cleaned, it’s a good idea to thoroughly dust your home on a weekly basis. Any bedding, curtains, upholstered furniture, or carpet should be washed or vacuumed regularly as well, as these parts of your home can collect dust mites and other pollutants.
Your kitchen and bathroom and prime spots for mold growth, so remember to disinfect the surfaces in these rooms with an environmentally-safe cleaner (including the tub!). Use the exhaust fan in your bathroom when showering to help prevent mold growth.
Allergy season can be tough, but your home environment doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Though the vast majority of homes attract allergens, there are steps you can take to reduce and remove them.
Duct cleaning is the best way to remove the dust, debris, mold, and bacteria that circulates through your indoor air. If you suffer from allergies, schedule your Four Seasons duct cleaning this season for effective and long-lasting relief.