Does air duct cleaning help my allergies?
After a long week of thunderstorms in Northern Virginia, we’re happy to see some sunshine in the forecast again. The gloomy weather did have its perks, though — just ask allergy sufferers. Thanks to the heavy rainfall, all of the pollen
that’s been wreaking havoc on our immune systems over the past few weeks has been cleared from the air.
Northern Virginia is known for its high pollen levels
this time of year, much to the dismay of allergy sufferers. We know those allergy symptoms all too well: dry eyes, runny nose, that itch in the back of your throat that just won’t go away. They can make spending time outdoors a serious drag.
What’s worse, however, is if your allergies are giving you grief even when you’re inside. Your home’s air ducts contain filtration systems designed to keep allergens like pollen, dust, and mold from contaminating the air that circulates. If you can’t seem to shake your allergy symptoms, or you’ve noticed dust building up faster than usual, you might need to have your air ducts cleaned.
Let’s explore some common household allergens, how dirty air ducts can aggravate allergy symptoms, and what you can do to minimize allergens in your home.
What are allergies?
An allergy is an adverse reaction your body has to certain foreign substances. Allergies can range from mild to severe and can be triggered by a variety of sources, from foods to plants to chemicals.
Managing your allergy symptoms starts with determining which substances trigger a reaction. Once you figure out which allergens affect your body, you can take the necessary steps to avoid them. Some common allergens include dust, pollen, and mold. Here’s a list of allergens
commonly found indoors:
Dust. Dust mites are microscopic organisms that live in nearly all homes, usually in beds, upholstered furniture, or any other fabric, and consume the dead skin cells that we naturally shed. These mites create waste which can trigger allergy symptoms and aggravate asthma.
Mold. One of the most common areas we notice mold growth is in the bathroom. Mold needs water to grow, so you’ll frequently find it in damp places like in the shower or around a bathroom vent, as well as in basements and crawl spaces.
However, mold isn’t always visible. It can grow wherever there is moisture — under flooring, behind walls, even in your air ducts. As mold grows, it releases airborne spores, which are another common cause of allergy symptoms.
Pollen. Pollen in the air and on the ground gets stuck to your clothes and shoes, which makes it easy to track it into the house after spending time outdoors. Open doors and windows also allow pollen to contaminate the air in your home.
Pet dander. Like humans, most household pets — commonly cats and dogs — shed dead skin flakes, known as dander, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Petting an animal, touching furniture or fabrics an animal has come in contact with, or even simply being in the same room as an animal can trigger an allergic reaction.
Cockroaches. Although cockroaches thrive in damp places where they can easily access food, they can be found pretty much anywhere in your home. Asthma and allergies can be triggered or aggravated by cockroach waste, saliva, and shed skin.
Rodents. Mice and rats can be problematic for any homeowner, but are particularly harmful for those with asthma or allergies; rodent hair, dander, urine, and feces can all trigger symptoms.
Mice and rats can also spread diseases and cause damage to your home, so it’s important to take care of your pest problem before an infestation begins. If you suspect you have a rodent problem, contact our pest control specialists
Avoid allergies with air duct cleaning.
Unlike chemical and food allergens, most indoor allergens are airborne. A common way that these allergens are spread is through air ducts; when your air conditioning or heat is on, forced air circulates throughout different areas of your home and allows allergens to disperse.
Over time, these allergens can build up in your air ducts, making it harder to avoid allergy symptoms regardless of how well you clean your house. If you’re wondering whether or not your air ducts are in need of a cleaning, ask yourself:
- Have you had your air ducts cleaned in the last five years?
- Does your house constantly collect dust?
- Are your allergy symptoms triggered when you turn on your heating or air conditioning?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should schedule a duct cleaning.
It’s important to identify the cause
of your allergies before air duct cleaning begins. Mold indicates that moisture is building up in your ducts, so you’ll want to make sure that any leaky pipes are repaired before cleaning to prevent mold growth from recurring. Pests like mice and cockroaches can also trigger allergy symptoms, so you’ll want to have vermin removed and any entry points sealed off.
If you’re looking to eliminate allergens and improve air quality, call our home performance
professionals to schedule an air duct cleaning and learn more about air filtration systems that can keep the air you breathe clean.
Keep your home allergen-free.
While a professional duct cleaning is the most effective way to eliminate most allergens from your home, there are several ways you can minimize your exposure to allergens:
- Clean vent covers and change air filters to prevent the spread of dust.
- Use a dehumidifier in warmer months. Humidity puts your home at higher risk for mold growth and dust mites.
- Vacuum frequently using a high efficiency (HEPA) filter bag.
- Eliminate clutter to slow the accumulation of dust in your home.
- Keep doors and windows closed if you’re allergic to pollen.
- Properly store and discard food to deter pests like mice and cockroaches.
- To prevent mold growth, use your bathroom fan when showering.
Your family has suffered from allergies long enough. Let's schedule an air duct cleaning
to ensure that the air you breathe every day is free from the allergens that make you miserable. Just give us a call at 1-877-740-6657 or contact us
online today to schedule an appointment.