What do you think of when you picture fall in New Jersey? Some people envision winding country roads that lead past fall foliage and pumpkin patches. Unfortunately, others think of itchy eyes, relentless sneezing, and a constant need for tissues. For some people, the very things that make fall wondrous also make fall uncomfortable. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, here’s how to use your home’s heating and cooling system to alleviate some of your symptoms.
Identify the Causes
Allergies are your body’s response to irritants in your environment. Most of what bothers you in the fall is inhaled. Here are the most common fall irritants.
- Ragweed – East of the Rockies, ragweed plagues allergy sufferers until the first frost.
- Other weeds – Around the country, weeds like sagebrush and sheep sorrel cause fall allergies.
- Molds – These grow year-round, but, in the fall, they have almost perfect growing conditions. Temperatures are still mild, and falling leaves trap moisture. Mold grows in fallen leaves until fall breezes release spores into the atmosphere.
Adjust Your HVAC
Your air conditioner is designed to operate as a closed system. Even if you’re tempted to open windows to let in the fall air, resist the urge. Your air filters remove allergens but opening the windows just lets them back in.
Most systems come with standard filters meant to remove pet hair, dust, and other debris. Upgrade to a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air you breathe.
Where there’s moisture, mold flourishes. Humidity keeps damp surfaces from drying out, so one of the best ways to discourage mold growth is to manage the humidity in your home. During the fall, the temperature fluctuates. If it’s cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon, you might be tempted to keep your heating and air conditioning system off. Running it removes humidity from the air. If there’s not enough of a temperature difference, consider purchasing a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth.
Add an Air Filtration System
Whole-home dehumidifiers add or remove precise amounts of moisture to control mold, mildew, and other moisture-related allergens. Whole-home air purifiers clean the air throughout your home.
If allergies are ruining your enjoyment of fall, R. Poust, Inc. can help you make your home a place where you can still enjoy apple cider, pumpkin pie, and so many other parts of the season. Contact us today to schedule an estimate.