Spring is in the air, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast are looking forward to welcoming back the warmer days. Except those of us with allergies… As the weather changes for the better, allergens can become a real problem. Animals are losing their winter coat, plants are producing tons of pollen, and the rainy weather can even increase how much fungi is growing and how many mould spores are in the air. To make matters worse, the air inside your house may be even more contaminated than the air outside.
Spring time in general, and June in particular, is the rainiest part of the year in Calgary. Unfortunately, all this humidity has a way of seeping into our homes — often through the open windows that someone forgot to shut when they were too warm. Once inside your house, all that heavy, moist air can aggravate your lungs. In general, folks with asthma or severe allergies should keep a tight control on humidity. You’ll want to ensure humidity stays between 35 and 50%. Any lower, and you’ll begin to experience cracked, dry skin and nosebleeds; any higher, and your allergies will likely flare up.
It’s Not Just Pollen.
This is because higher humidity levels facilitate the survival and movement of mould spores in the air. To make matters worse, when the humidity is above 50%, there is sufficient moisture available to feed any mould colonies that have already taken root in your home. Moulds typically begin to grow in washrooms, laundry rooms, the kitchen, and any other room that gets steamy. You can identify a mould problem long before you can see it by the mildew smell whenever the humidity gets too high.
Even Canadians who don’t suffer from spring fever will likely react to mould spores. Young children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory illnesses are most vulnerable to the presence of moulds.
Air Filters for Allergies.
One of the best ways to help reduce the number of allergens in your home is through your furnace filter. Typically, your standard furnace filter is not designed to remove allergens. It’s used to prevent dust and other large particles from damaging your furnace. However, there are furnace filters specifically designed to also remove allergens. These filters, called “high energy particulate air filters” or HEPA filters, are much denser than typical furnace filters. The best HEPA filters can trap 99% of pollen, dust, smoke, and the other allergens that make you miserable all spring. During your annual furnace inspection, talk to your technician about the best HEPA filters that are compatible with your furnace.
Of course, your ducts will still be full of allergens for a while, so don’t expect magic from a filter change.
Our team at the Plumbing Paramedics is all about helping Calgarians to feel better. That’s why we recommend an annual furnace inspection. Investing in the best HEPA filters and changing it each month won’t relieve your allergies if your furnace filter isn’t sealed correctly or your furnace is drawing air from another source entirely. Our comprehensive furnace inspection can catch little issues, like air not passing through the filter properly, as well as larger problems that would eventually lead to furnace failure. Feel confident that your furnace is running optimally — contact the Plumbing Paramedics today to schedule your spring furnace inspection.