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Filter Through Fall Allergies Indoors

We can’t wait for some relief from the summer heat, but with great seasonal change comes great allergen irritation for many people, some of whom may have never experienced allergy season before. Half of all allergy sufferers in the United States are diagnosed after age 18, and some will be diagnosed after contracting a bad cold or mono. If this is true for someone in your home, you may not know what to do to help relieve their suffering. Avoiding irritants and allergens is the best way to preventing fall allergy symptoms, and it’s easier than you think!

While you can be sure to avoid pets if you are allergic to pet dander, most fall allergy sufferers are allergic to ragweed, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Ragweed is most commonly found in the East and Midwest, but the pollen is so small it can travel thousands of miles in the wind making it a common allergen all over the country[1]. You can’t filter the entire world, especially a world with pollen as pervasive as ragweed, but you can filter the air that comes into your home, which will provide just the relief millions of allergy sufferers need.

Fortunately, you probably don’t have to replace your entire HVAC system to get the relief you deserve. There are smaller fixes that can add up to a comfortable, allergy-free fall.

Your Toolbox

When creating your healthiest home environment, BNG recommends first taking care of all necessary maintenance to your overall HVAC system, since it controls the airflow in and out of your home.

High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters, or HEPA Filters

These bad boys can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns (which is the equivalent of 1/1000 of a millimeter), which means pollen, mold spores, animal dander, and fumes don’t stand a chance.

Dehumidifier

Dust mites, a common year-round indoor allergy trigger, thrive in high-humidity environments, so a nice summer breeze blowing through your living room is like Disney World for these microscopic pests. A dehumidifier is just the thing to ensure your home is ready for a mite-free fall. Make sure to keep your dehumidifier clean, though, because allowing any mold to grow defeats the purpose entirely.

Your existing AC system

Did you know your AC system can act as a great dehumidifier during warmer months? Filters in your AC system are critical for preventing many indoor allergens, and your existing central AC or heating systems can be fitting with electrostatic filters, which trap smaller particles than the average filter, although they don’t work as well as HEPA filters. If you have one family member that particularly suffers from fall allergies, consider separating units for their bedroom or most frequented areas. Since filters work the best within a specific square-foot range, targeting one area with a HEPA filter or dehumidifier will be the best for reducing allergens.

If you’re ready to upgrade your filters and find a little relief this allergy season, give BNG a call. You can also read our post on why we always recommend preventive maintenance for your existing HVAC systems before making any major changes. We have locations in Boonville, Newburgh, Evansville, and Richland.

Pure Air At Last (Part 2)

badsmellsFace

Last time we talked about solar death rays fighting off hordes of bacteria, mold and viruses.  This time lets discuss smells; all the bad ones that slowly build up in your home.  Smells are powerful.  Research has shown that smells are the sense that is most strongly tied to memory.  Do you want your home to be remembered because it had an odd odor? We didn’t think so.  The second technology used by the APCO In-duct Air Purifier system is…(drum roll)… carbon.  Activated carbon has several uses, but in the APCO it removes odors.

Activated_CarbonActivated carbon is used for all kinds of things: cleaning water, filtering chemical solutions for analysis, treating overdoses and poisonings, and as in the APCO removing chemicals from air.  Now, brace yourself, incoming chemistry.  Ready? Here we go.  Activated carbon is full of micro pores.  These tiny holes give 1 gram of activated carbon over 500 m^2 of surface area.  More surface area means that there is more area for chemicals to react to.  And carbon is very good at reacting with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  When the VOCs react with the carbon in the APCO they get stuck and removed from the air.  Since the VOCs cause the smells, and the VOCs are stuck in the carbon; the smells are gone.  Whew…chemistry over.  Did you make it? Glad to hear it.  Next time we’ll talk about why the carbon can keep catching the VOCs.