Are You Allergic to Your Home?

If you find yourself sneezing a lot this time of year, filtering your indoor air might provide relief that lasts for years.

The source of your misery may just be your house. Cleaning ductwork will help cut down on the pain, and a filtration system attached to your climate control system should take care of things for good. | iStock photo by -Oxford-

Spring is not the only thing in the air. With the temperatures (finally) going up, common allergens like pollen are back in full force. If you’ve noticed that your allergies are a little worse than usual, an unlikely culprit may be to blame: your own home.

According to the EPA, the air within our homes and buildings is more polluted than outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. This is also where we spend 90 percent of our time.

“The way things are done nowadays is that people are looking for an individual symptom that is basically driving them nuts, and they’re going to the drugstore trying to figure out how to take care of that symptom rather than handling the root cause,” said Joe Giannone, owner of Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.

The root cause may be allergens in your HVAC system, and keeping your house clean and well ventilated is not always enough to rid them. Over time, these particles build up inside your house and your ductwork.

A basic air filtration system can alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms by taking care of pollen, dust, mildew and mold. Even if you have an exemplary immune system and go through every spring without a single itchy eye or runny nose, do not discount installing an air filtration system.

Adding a UV light to your filtration system can filter “infectious agents” out of your air. These include the germs response for bacterial infections, like strep throat and tuberculosis, and viral infections, like influenza, SARS, and pneumonia. An even stronger UV light can take on the presence of carbon monoxide, pesticides, and formaldehyde.

Giannone recommends a 4-inch, whole-house air filtration system whose filters should be replaced once or twice a year, depending on the concentration of particles in your home. Owners of pets, carpets and places in the city, this particularly applies to you.

It may be a little more expensive than a packet of Benadryl, but an air filtration system may be the long-term allergy solution you have been looking for.