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Have a Happy Easter and Avoid Spring Allergies

Easter is around the corner and spring will be here soon after that. While it’s still a little too cold for plants right now, we’re getting closer to breaking the 70-degree mark which means plants will start blooming soon and the cold-weather variety will have already begun. Once they start blooming, plants waste no time flowering and attempting to spread across the country side. While their flowers are beautiful, the pollen they scatter isn’t. so while Easter is a great celebration of rebirth, restoration, and new beginnings, the side-effect is the pollen that fills the air and our homes. Fortunately, there are things you can do right now to help keep your home’s indoor air clean and allergen-clean.

Start with Spring HVAC Maintenance

No you don’t need your air conditioner yet, but it’s likely you’ve used your furnace for much of the winter. It’s time to swap out that air filter and get your HVAC unit cleaned up. If you’ve noticed a lot of dust settling around the house you may need to get your ductwork inspected as well. But the first thing you want to do is change out your air filter. This is the easiest, most inexpensive, and most important thing you can do to maintain both your home and your cooling system. Air filters improve the quality of air in your home, reduce allergy problems, and keep your ventilation duct clean and clear. A dirty air filter impedes the flow of air in your system and can reduce how efficiently it operates. Ideally, you want to replace this filter every three to six months.

Professional HVAC inspection and cleaning services will cover a lot more and will help to keep your unit running far longer. Some warranties even require annual maintenance to stay in effect. With a professional service you’ll receive:

  • Tightening of electrical connections
  • Cleaning both the evaporator and condenser
  • Lubricating all moving parts
  • Clearing the condensate drain
  • Testing your thermostat
  • Cleaning all fan blower components
  • Checking refrigerant levels

Don’t forget to dust your home and check for any drafts in walls, windows, or doors. Once pollen starts spreading, it will use these avenues to enter your home. Keep an eye out for any leaks or spots of water damage that may have been cause by leaks from winter storms and melting ice. You’ll want to air dry these spots as soon as possible to prevent mold growth which will spread harmful spores.

Keep Pollen Outside

We’ve already mentioned making sure that your home is sealed and insulated. It’s part of standard maintenance for your home and will help to improve the energy-efficiency of your house during both summer and winter. But there are a few things you can do to help keep indoor pollen levels to a minimum, prolonging the life of your air filter.

Remove Shoes and Jackets at the Door – As we walk around outside, the exterior layer of our clothing gathers pollen and dust from the outdoors. While this isn’t a major issue during the winter, during the spring (and fall) pollen sticks to clothing and gets loosed once we enter the home. The best way to prevent this is to store clothes and shoes at the entrance, rather than tracking that pollen throughout. If you have the opportunity, shake off shoes and jackets outside to dislodge some pollen before bringing them inside.

Vacuum all Fabrics Regularly – Carpets, furniture upholstery, and curtains are all safe-havens for pollen. Whatever is tracked into your home floats freely on the wind until it settles into the carpet matting and other fibers. Every time you step on the carpet, recline on the couch, or open the curtains you’ll be scattering pollen and particulates that have settled. Get a rug-beater attachment for your vacuum cleaner or have your carpets steam cleaned for maximum cleaning potential. Then follow up with regular cleaning of all fabrics in your home. And don’t forget, always make sure you wash your clothes thoroughly after a day with a high pollen count.

These steps are sure to keep your family healthy and your allergies to a minimum during peak allergy seasons, leaving you with a healthy, enjoyable days from Easter to winter.