Archives for allergies

Protecting Home Air Quality from Your Pets

A staggering 90% of our lives are spent indoors, and while pets bring a remarkable amount of joy into the family home, they also bring in a lot of allergens that can seriously detriment indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection agency has warned of health risks associated with poor indoor air quality; with 37-47% of US homes now including a dog and 30-37% including a cat, those warnings should not be taken lightly.

Lets take a look at how to keep the air at home safe without ousting everyone’s favorite family member.

Where Do Pet Allergens Come From?

So, what exactly is it that pets bring in that harms air quality? As every dog or cat owner knows, pets can shed a lot of fur and while this can be annoying and clog your air filters (more on that in a bit) it generally doesn’t irritate the respiratory system.

The big problem is pet dander. Dander is a small, sometimes microscopic, skin flake that is regularly shed off of mammals with fur, hair, or feathers. Dander travels through the air on house dust and then into the lungs of the occupants where it can cause irritation or allergic reactions.

Other sources of pet irritants come from their dried saliva that can build up in their fur and get shaken off into the air, or from dust released from their dried feces.

Change Air Filters and Use HEPA filters

Filters are your first and best tool to keep your home’s air fresh and allergen free. However, as your pets shed their fur and dander, air filters become clogged and make your system less efficient. A less efficient system means higher heating bills and lower life expectancy for your system. Regularly replacing air filters can go a long way to improving your home’s air quality and your family’s health and comfort, while also saving you a couple bucks.

Traditional air filters, however, might not be up to the challenge of filtering out pet dander. If you really want to filter out nearly all (99.97%) air pollutants, consider integrating a HEPA filter into your system. Contact your local HVAC experts for more information.

Clean Air Ducts

Having pristine air filters doesn’t do much if your air ducts don’t also receive regular attention. Over time, air ducts can collect dust, bacteria and viruses (it is an ideal breeding ground for them), mold, and other nasties. If your ducts aren’t regularly cleaned, every time your air kicks on, pieces of whatever is stuck up there get blasted back into your home. Make sure to have your ducts serviced regularly!

Regular Maintenance

Lastly, having a regular bath schedule for your pet goes a long way in reducing what they would otherwise release into your air. Vacuuming, dusting, and keeping pets off of furniture, carpets, and bed helps prevent dander from building up in fabrics where it will slowly find its way into the air.

This week in Allentown, temperatures will make it to the high 50s. Spring is right around the corner! Unfortunately, so is allergy season. These tips for helping to keep your air clean while co-existing with your furry companion will also help in the fight against spring allergies. Change your filters and contact MBI for your regular maintenance and duct cleaning at: 610.821.9555

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How to Use Your AC to Reduce Allergy Season Flare Ups

With spring comes wildflowers, sunshine, new life…..and you guessed it — allergies.

Springtime activities such as hiking, swimming or tending a garden are treats some people look forward to all year. Reality is, sometimes allergens can put a major kink in some of our favorite seasonal pursuits. As it is, most of the state of Pennsylvania is already facing medium to medium-high pollen threats, and we’ve only now turned the official corner into spring.

Understandably so, when the allergens in the air make the season feel more like a nightmare for the respiratory system than another day in paradise, many retreat to the “safe” indoors.

While seeking haven inside your air-conditioned home may help you avoid allergens landing on your skin and clothing, if you don’t have the right air filters or you aren’t changing your filters regularly, the benefit of staying indoors might not be worth the Vitamin D sacrifice.

Contrary to popular belief, typical air filters do not prevent allergens from traveling indoors. Average filters are intended to cut down on dust build up in AC equipment in order to keep the system running flawlessly. Unfortunately, most of them do just that and only that, leaving allergen haunted residents feeling just as miserable while indoors.

Changing the Air Filters

Experts recommend changing your air filters once every three months, at the very least. For allergies, this means the air coming into your home will be cleaner. If you leave your normal air filters in for lengthy periods, such as a year or more, you’re probably punishing your lungs. Dust builds up in the filter over time, as it should, and eventually, the filter contains so much dust and that’s what anyone indoors will inhale. Among the worst cases, you might actually be safer outdoors than inside with things like pet dander adding even more to your issues.

In addition to helping prevent allergy symptoms, properly kept up filters can increase the efficiency of your AC system, saving you some serious cash.

Allergy-Preventing Filters

Typical filters may serve as a gatekeeper for dust and minimal allergens, but they won’t be saving the day by any means. Irritants such as pollen and bacteria still find their way into the air you’re breathing in while indoors.

If you want to battle the major allergens, look into more specialized filters, frequently referred to as HEPA filters. Even the smallest particles have a difficult time getting through these, with some HEPA filters blocking up to 99 percent of air contaminants. If even one of these filters isn’t helping, call a professional for a cleaning. It’ll be worth not missing any additional work or school.
Do your research and make sure to get this taken care of early on before the summer humidity brings the potential for  additional challenges, like mold.

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