Springtime is beautiful in Georgia: Temperatures in the Atlanta area hover between a pleasant 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in May. The flowering dogwoods, eastern redbuds, native crabapples, and cherry blossoms dazzle with bright, cheerful flowers. Residents head outdoors for festivals, botanical garden trips, and fishing and boating on Lake Lanier. Unfortunately, though, no matter where you go, you may encounter the tree, grass, and ragweed allergy pollen counts that can set off your pollen allergies and can ruin your otherwise beautiful Georgia day.
One place you know should be safe from trigging your pollen allergy symptoms is your very own home. But does your home help protect you from the sneezing, itching, congestion, and coughing that so often come with a pollen allergy? These pollen allergy symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, don’t have to be part of your life. The key is to safeguard your home from pollen with proper filtration that can minimize the allergens within your home. Read on to learn what kind of dust and pollen filters can reduce those irritating pollen allergy symptoms and keep you comfortable through spring and beyond.
Ways to Reduce Your Contact with Pollen
Some days, pollen counts are high. Keeping comfortable means minimizing your exposure to the tree and grass pollen that threatens to irritate your sinuses. Here are some basic ways to keep pollen at bay:
- Close your home’s windows.
- Change and wash your clothes after going outside and wash the pollen off your hair and skin by showering before bed.
- Wash your bedding weekly and your dry laundry indoors.
- Make sure your central air conditioning with an asthma- and allergy-friendly HVAC filter.
In February 2021, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released a report that lists the top allergy capitals of the United States for the year. The rankings factored in high spring and fall pollen counts, use of over-the-counter allergy medicines, and numbers of board-certified allergists available in the area.
It may not surprise you that the Gainesville, GA is situated near some pollen-infested hot spots. Among the U.S. allergy capitals of 2021, Greenville, SC, ranked at No. 29; Atlanta came in at No. 49; Chattanooga, TN, landed at No. 54; and Augusta, GA, ranked at No. 62. According to the report, these are the areas where the season’s final freeze, which signals the start of spring, is happening earlier in the year, giving allergy-producing plants more time to grow. More growth means more pollen — and more pollen allergies. The Atlanta area is considered one of the top 50 most challenging places for allergy sufferers to live in the springtime, the report found.
How to Filter Pollen Out of Your Home’s Air
Understanding the problem is only half the battle; the other half is understanding how to filter pollen out of your home’s air and mitigate the allergen’s uncomfortable effects. The good news is, you can take a few simple steps to ensure that you’ll breathe easy inside your home year-round:
1. Replace your furnace filters consistently
Furnace filters, also known as home air filters, do some major heavy lifting when it comes to the health of you and your home. They work to keep clean the heat exchanges and coils on your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Changing your HVAC filters is not only good maintenance on your home’s HVAC system, but it also works to clear the air of allergens such as pollen. Make sure you know the proper dimensions of your air filter so that you purchase replacement filters in the correct size.
2. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
Vacuuming once or twice a week is an effective way to filter dust and pollen from your home’s environment, and it’ll be even more effective if your vacuum is outfitted with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, also known as a HEPA filter. HEPA filters should be able to trap nearly all particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger, which includes dust, pollen, and pet dander.
3. Look into an air purifier
An air purifier — either a small tabletop version or a whole-room unit — can help keep your home’s air clean and reduce your family’s respiratory symptoms. Options for removing pollen and dust include HEPA filters, UV filters, and ion filters. Carbon-based filters might be less effective if your main concern is pollen. If you’re thinking of a portable air purifier, find one with a desirable clean air delivery rate. CADR is an efficiency metric that tells you how many square feet and particles the air purifier should be able to reach.
4. Consider the cleansing power of UV light
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation doesn’t remove microbes from an environment, but it can inactivate them. In short, UV light is a natural disinfectant. Adding a UV lamp to your HVAC system inactivates the allergens that gather on your air conditioner’s indoor coil. These lamps are a silent, low-maintenance way to reduce airborne bio-aerosols in your home’s atmosphere.
Want to know more about effective air quality solutions that can protect your home and your nose from the ravages of pollen and other allergens? Contact us today. We’re experts in residential indoor air quality testing. No matter whether you need air cleaners, ventilators, dehumidifiers, or UV lamps, and we can identify and solve your home’s allergen problems.