If spring allergy seasons are particularly brutal for you, donâ€™t expect much relief during fall or winter. In a WebMD article discussing the top winter allergy triggers, Dr. Asriani Chiu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at the College of Wisconsin, points out that the majority of winter allergies are actually caused by the same inhaled allergens that aggravate spring and summer allergies.
Since most people spend more time indoors during the chilly fall and winter months, they may experience an increase in allergy flare-ups, asthma symptoms, or chemical sensitivity symptoms due to dust mites, mold, pet dander, dust, odors, and other common indoor allergens–as well as allergens tracked in from outdoors like moldy leaves or logs for the fire. This article contains tips and advice for winning the battle against allergy and asthma flare-ups this fall and winter, leaving you more time to enjoy the cooler weather, cozy sweaters, and holiday time with family.
As temperatures begin to fall, most people turn up the heat in their homes. While your heating system may bring welcome warmth to chilly feet and hands, it can wreak havoc on the relative humidity of your home by drying out your indoor air. Excessively dry air can lead to:
Loss of moisture in your indoor environment can even damage your physical home and the belongings inside, causing cracking, warping, and separation in wood products.
To avoid these irritating symptoms and side effects, try adding a humidifier to your room or home. By delivering moisture to parched indoor environments, such as bedrooms, dens, and offices, humidifiers can help you maintain a comfortable relative humidity level, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states is between 45% and 50%. If you are unsure about the relative humidity of your area, a hygrometer can help you determine the moisture level of your indoor environment.
There are a wide variety of humidifiers available, and understanding their differences will help you choose the best humidifier for your needs. There are five basic types:
To learn more about humidifiers and ways they can improve your indoor environment, visit the Humidifiers section of our Knowledge Center.
While your heating system may take away moisture, it adds something else to your indoor air–allergens! During warmer months when heat isnâ€™t necessary, your space heater or central heating system is likely home to a variety irritants including dust, dust mites, mold spores, insect parts, pet dander, and more. When your heater is turned on, these allergens are distributed throughout your indoor space, causing irritating allergy and asthma symptoms. Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid the winter onslaught of indoor allergens.
If your home doesnâ€™t have central heating or if you want to control energy costs by spot heating rooms most often used, infrared heaters, like the Comfort Furnace CF1500XP-UV, or micathermic heaters, such as the Soleus HGW-308, are great solutions for reducing indoor airborne irritants. Since these heaters donâ€™t use a fan to deliver warmth to your area, redistribution of dust, dust mites, mold spores, and other allergens is significantly reduced.
Using central heating doesnâ€™t mean that you have to suffer all winter from airborne allergy symptoms. By adding an air purifier to your home, you are able to combat a wide variety of airborne irritants, including dust, dust mites, pet dander, and mold. Plus, air purifiers improve the quality of your indoor air year-round! For those with severe allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities, there are even air purifiers that remove mold, bacteria, and odors.
For high-efficiency air cleaning, look for air purifiers with HEPA filtration like our customer favorite, the Whirlpool 450 Air Purifier. A HEPA filter, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter, effectively removes up to 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger, which includes dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other microscopic irritant that aggravate allergies and asthma.
For more robust air filtration, the IQAir HealthPro Plus features 2-stage gas filters to prevent gaseous toxins and odors from aggravating sensitive respiratory systems as well as true HEPA filtration. The triple-seal design of the IQAir HealthPro Plus also effectively removes mold, bacteria, and viruses. This is extremely helpful during the fall and winter months since wet, moldy leaves and other irritants can easily find their way into your home and into the air you breathe. Powerful air filtration is also a great line of defense for combating winter colds and the flu. In fact, the Rabbit Air BioGS Air Purifier actually features an anti-flu coating on its HEPA filter, which has been tested and proven to reduce the viral infectivity of certain flu viruses including the H3N2 virus, which is a strain similar to avian flu.
In addition to these indoor air treatment products, use these handy tips to manage or even prevent fall and winter allergy symptoms:
To order any of the air treatment solutions mentioned in this article or to browse other products, browse our online catalog. For help choosing the best indoor air treatment solution to suit your needs, call one of our friendly, knowledgeable air treatment specialists at 1-800-934-9194 for your free consultation.