Many of us suffer through allergies all spring, with only a short time of relief during the summer. Then the next round of problems hit — ‘hay fever’, or ragweed allergies, are often even more severe in the fall than they are in the early part of the year!
With an allergy season that begins in August and can run all the way through October, we know how miserable Pennsylvania can be this time of year. However, we have four tips designed to help bring you and your family some relief!
1. Stay Inside During Peak Hours
Ragweed pollen counts tend to be highest during the day, from about 10 am to 4 pm. When possible, stay indoors, whether you’re at home, at work, or at school. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but minimizing exposure goes a long way towards mitigating the effects. Check the projected pollen count for the day before making any outdoor plans — local news stations and national weather websites are often able to accurately predict pollen counts a week or so in advance.
2. Keep Your Windows Closed — Even When Temps Are Cool
While leaving your windows open to let in the cool breezes seems like a great way to cool things down indoors, it also lets in plenty of allergens to make you miserable. Whether at home or in the car, keep your windows closed to allow your in-home air filters to keep out as much pollen as possible.
Make sure to change your air filters more frequently during the heavy allergy seasons, as well; if you’re an allergy sufferer and are used to changing filters once per season, you might want to try changing them out once a month. For only a few dollars per filter, they can make a big difference in your indoor air quality during heavy pollen days.
3. Change Your Clothes When You Walk in the Door
Pollen, dust, pet dander… whatever your allergy trigger, odds are good you often feel like you can’t escape it. A big part of that is due to the fact that most common allergens are the kind of particles that stick to clothing or in your hair even after you’ve left the area of exposure. Make sure to change your entire outfit when you come in after a day spent outdoors. If you are a severe allergy sufferer, you might want to have an outfit ready to go in the mudroom or entryway so you can make sure you don’t track even a bit of pollen any further into your home than you have to.
You may also consider taking a shower, especially if you’ve been spending time in the garden or other pollen-heavy areas. This can help get rid of whatever particles are still left in your hair or on your skin. It may seem like an extreme step to take, but a little comfort can go a long way.
4. Look Into HEPA Filters
HEPA filters, mechanical filters that do a better job of filtering pollen and other allergens out of your home air than just about anything else, may be a good choice for severe allergy sufferers. Found in most small air purifiers, they can work to purify the air in a single room. We usually recommend keeping one in your living or family room (whichever is most used) and one in each bedroom. While air purifiers do a great job of clearing allergens out of your in-home air, they can’t touch the particles already on your curtains, upholstery, or carpeting.
To take out allergens from these areas, look into the purchase of a vacuum that has its own HEPA-filter, and vacuum as regularly as once a week, and maybe twice during a particularly tough allergy season.
When You Need Help, Give Us a Call
Of course, giving you advice to close your windows won’t do you much good if your HVAC breaks down in the middle of a hot day, and it won’t keep you warm during cool nights if the heat suddenly just won’t come on. That’s why Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling is on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Whether it’s a heating, cooling, or plumbing emergency (or just a routine repair or preventative maintenance), we’re here to help! Reach us by phone at (215) 855-2014 or contact us online to schedule service at any time!