Even when you think you have escaped the dangers of poor air quality outside, you can still face invisible particles that can harm you even within the comforts of your home. Airborne allergens are contaminants in your home that could cause allergic reactions. Unhealthy cleaning habits often exacerbate these.
Being exposed to allergens for the first time might not immediately cause symptoms. But, if ignored, your sensitivity to it will increase. So if you ask, “Why am I allergic to my air conditioner?” Here are four airborne allergens that may plague the air quality of your home:
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that eat organic matter and absorb water from the surrounding humidity. They are one of the components of house dust. Exposure to them and their waste can increase your risk of developing a dust mite allergy. Some symptoms of dust mite allergy include runny nose, irritated eyes, sneezing, and shortness of breath. Dust mites are most commonly found in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. Taking steps to remove them from your home can help reduce your symptoms.
Like most people, you probably spend a lot of time indoors. And if you have allergies, you also spend a lot of time around dust mites. These tiny creatures are one of the most common indoor allergens, and they’re found in every type of home, no matter how clean it is.
Dust mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but they’re big enough to cause allergic reactions in some people. They feed on dead skin cells that we shed daily and live in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. So when we breathe, we inhale dust mite allergens along with the air.
Symptoms of dust mite allergy include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and shortness of breath. Some people also have asthma attacks when they’re exposed to dust mites. If you have a dust mite allergy, the best way to reduce your symptoms is to remove them from your home.
Dust mites only affect you negatively, so here are some of the things you can do to avoid them:
- Use dust mite-proof mattresses and pillowcases.
- Keep humidity under 50%.
- Regular cleaning or vacuuming.
Most pet allergies are associated with cats and dogs since they are the most common house pets. Pet dander is the dead skin that your pet sheds. These allergens found in the fur and saliva of pets can increase the risks of an allergy due to prolonged exposure.
There are many ways to reduce your exposure to pet allergies. Some simple tips include:
- Wash your hands after handling your pet
- Keep your pet out of your bedroom
- Vacuum regularly to remove pet dander from carpets and upholstery
If you suspect a pet allergy, it is important to see an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Allergy shots may be recommended in some cases. With appropriate management, you can continue to enjoy the companionship of your furry friend.
In addition, pet dander can remain airborne if disturbed and contaminate the air you breathe. Some pet allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes, and a runny nose.
It is best to avoid pets if you are allergic to them. However, if you want one, then it is important to:
- Keep your pets out of your bedroom as much as possible.
- Consider using a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter.
- Use a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner in your room.
- Give your dog or cat a bath at least once a week.
Mold is present in most homes, especially in areas with high moisture. It will grow in your air conditioner, which could distribute the spores throughout your house. The spores reduce the air quality and can cause symptoms like nasal congestion, itchy throat, wheezing, and eye irritation.
Some people are more susceptible to these effects than others. For example, if you have asthma or allergies, you may be at a higher risk for reactions to mold.
To remove mold from your air conditioner:
- Start by unplugging the unit and removing the filter.
- Clean the unit with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
- Wear gloves and a mask when handling bleach.
- After cleaning the unit, dry it thoroughly before replacing the filter and plugging it back in. It would help if you also considered having your air conditioner regularly serviced to prevent mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your house, contact a professional Mold Removal company to have an inspection and testing done. A professional can determine if you have a mold problem and recommend the best course of action for removal.
Those who have allergies, however, may experience more serious reactions.
Cleaning mold is good, but preventing it from growing or spreading could be more effective. Here are some preventive measures:
- Fix areas where there are water leaks.
- Install proper ventilation to reduce moisture and humidity.
- Clean your air conditioner and replace its air filters regularly.
Pollen is a plant microspore that usually appears dust-like. It can infiltrate your house by sticking to your pets, hair, or clothes or passing through an open window. Some pollen allergy symptoms include nasal congestion, a stuffy nose, and watery eyes.
Pollen allergies can be seasonal, but they may also be year-round. To ease some of the pollen allergy symptoms, here are some of the things you could do:
- Vacuum regularly.
- Invest in a portable HEPA filter or dehumidifier.
- Clean your air conditioner and replace the filters regularly.
To sum up, you are not allergic to your air conditioner but to the allergens that linger in your home. An allergen-free home indicates good indoor air quality and a safe environment. In addition, having an air conditioner will keep you cold and filter the air you breathe.
It is important, however, to have it regularly maintained by professionals to keep it operating efficiently. Do not worry because allergic reactions can be prevented and even remedied. However, if your symptoms persist, you should consult your doctor.
ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.