Each spring and summer, pollen counts climb as trees and grasses begin their annual proliferation. Like clockwork, they release their pollen and bring respiratory misery to millions of people around them. Some of these people seek respite with medications while others hunker down in their homes and try to ride out the onslaught of seasonal allergens. Many people are forced to call off work with itchy eyes and runny noses.
Allergy season is something we are all forced to deal with on some level, but imagine how terrible it would be if you were affected by allergies not outdoors, but indoors, and not seasonally, but every single day. For many people, no imagination is required. Substandard indoor air quality causes allergic reactions and even asthma attacks in offices and homes across the country on a daily basis.
Dust is a very common cause of indoor allergies. Tiny pieces of soil, plant material, man-made materials and even insects make up the dust we breathe on a daily basis. Each time we enter a building, more dust is dragged along. For some people, small amounts of dust can cause large problems. For others, dust triggers allergic reactions only when it is present in large volumes. An indoor space may not appear to be very dusty, but the dust is constantly recirculated by the building’s HVAC system. This can magnify the dust’s effect on people with allergies or asthma because each cycle of dust through the system creates an additional opportunity for an allergic response.
House Dust Mites
Dust is also a perfect environment for house dust mites. These tiny arachnids are found everywhere that humans live, and they eat shed flakes of human skin. Houses, with controlled climates and a constant source of food, provide their ideal living environment. Their simple digestive tracts contain protease enzymes that remain in the feces, and these enzymes are thought to be the most common cause of asthmatic wheezing and allergic reactions in humans. It has been estimated that house dust mites produce approximately 2,000 fecal droppings throughout their 10 week life span, and they leave behind even more partially digested dust particles that are coated with protease enzymes.
Mold And Mildew
Mold is another material that wreaks havoc with the human respiratory system. Mold and mildew thrive in areas of high humidity and low light levels. They reproduce by spores, and these spores can act as allergens. Some types of mold are much more damaging than others, and they can cause respiratory illnesses far beyond the scope of simple allergic reactions.
Dander is a common term for skin cells shed by pets, and it is another common cause of indoor allergies. These shed cells are microscopic and are carried through the air on the slightest updrafts. They are easily inhaled and can cause allergic reactions as they enter the mucous membranes of the respiratory system. It is believed that older animals shed more dander than younger ones, and fully grown pets may cause allergic reactions where pups or kittens may not.
Indoor Air Quality in Carrollton, Georgia
If you need information on how to reduce allergens in your home, contact an HVAC specialist. Merrell and Associates have been serving Carrollton, GA, since 1952, and the NATE-certified technicians at Merrell are very knowledgeable on indoor air quality issues. They can help you select the correct air filter for your system, advise you on how often to replace it and even come and perform the service for you.
Call Merrell and Associates today and start breathing easier tomorrow!