Although it’s ragweed season in the Fort Wayne area, that doesn’t necessarily mean that seasonal allergies are to blame when you’re dealing with a runny nose and watery eyes. The cause of those allergic reactions could be right in your own home.
Very small, translucent critters called dust mites are common in homes in the Fort Wayne area (and, really, just about anyplace). These tiny mites crawl around your home feeding on dead skin flakes and pet dander. Their bodies contain certain proteins that are responsible for causing allergic reactions. There are usually around 100 to 500 mites in one gram of dust, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, but don’t despair. You can greatly reduce the number of dust mites in your home, which will help improve indoor air quality, by doing the following:
- Keep indoor humidity relatively low. Dust mites thrive in humidity, so keep the humidity level in your home to 55 percent or lower. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of excess moisture, and always turn the fan on in the bathroom when taking a shower or bath.
- Replace wall-to-wall carpeting. Consider replacing this type of carpeting in your bedroom with area rugs. Wall-to-wall carpeting collects more dust, which means you’ll have more dust mites around.
- Vacuum frequently. Use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum on carpeting and rugs. Vacuums with HEPA filters pick up more dust particles than regular filters. Vacuum during the day in order to give any remaining dust time to settle before you go to bed. Otherwise, you’ll be breathing in dust particles that are still floating around.
- Get “mite-proof” covers. These covers help keep dust mites off your pillows and mattress. Wash your bedding in hot water on a regular basis to further reduce dust mites.
- Have your HVAC system maintained. Ductwork can harbor dust mites, which your HVAC system will then spread throughout your home. Inspect and change your HVAC filters regularly, and consider scheduling a duct inspection to see whether they need to be cleaned. Some homes need this more frequently than others.
If you need more tips on how to improve indoor air quality, please contact us at Hartman Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the Fort Wayne area since 1963.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about dust mites and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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