Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, headache can only mean one thing: allergy season is upon us. And it seems that no matter how much we clean our house and wash our hands, there’s nothing we can do to escape the wrath of allergy season. Or is there?

When most of us think of allergies we think of pollen and ragweed, but there are plenty of things that give us those sinus headaches that come from inside our home. Recognizing allergens and taking the proper steps to eliminate them are an important part of home maintenance and extremely necessary for the health of your entire family. Read on to learn about allergens inside the home and what you can do to make sure they stay away. 

Before we learn how make our home allergen free, let’s first take a look at the different allergens that contaminate our home:

Dust Mites: These tiny little creatures can be found all over the home and over 20 million Americans are allergic to them. They feed off of dead skin from humans and pets and are commonly found in carpeting, beds, and furniture. They are especially bad in Houston because they love our hot and humid weather and are unable to survive in colder, drier places. 

Mold: High humidity and moisture are two of mold’s favorite things, again making Houston an optimal spot for mold growth. When you mix humid air, like the air outside, with cool air-conditioned air inside your home, you get condensation. The condensation then causes mold to grow. Mold is commonly seen growing on walls, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Breathing in mold spores causes a variety of allergic reactions and can be dangerous to your health. 

Mildew: If you have mold, you are going to have mildew. It is usually black in color and grows on walls, ceilings, and is commonly seen in the bathroom. Like mold, it thrives in hot, humid, and damp places. 

Pet dander: While we love our pets and consider them part of our family, there are parts of them that we can be extremely allergic to. Pet dander is dead skin that all dogs and cats shed that gets on everything. It can even be found in homes without pets because it is easily transferred through the skin and clothes of visitors who do have them. 

Rodents and bugs: Cockroaches are a common cause of allergies in the home and can even cause asthma in some people. Their saliva, feces, urine, and even their decomposing bodies all become mixed in with the air you breathe and can cause severe allergic reactions. Rodents like rats and mice are also allergy triggers because they leave behind contaminants through their skin, saliva, and urine. 

Because most allergens are floating in the air we breathe, the easiest way to get rid of them is to purify and clean the air inside your home. 

HVAC experts have determined that the air you breathe inside a house can be up to five times worse than the air you breathe outside, because inside the house is nothing but re-circulated air that you breathe in over and over again. Houston has some of the worst air in the United States because of all the pollen and refineries, and is the reason many Houstonians suffer from allergies throughout the year. 

The best way to make sure the air inside your home is clean and contaminant free is to install filters inside your home that purify your air. Around 98% of the homes in Houston are built with a 1-inch box filter that is located in the wall or ceiling. While having a small filter is better than having none at all, it is still not efficient enough to clean your air the way you need it to. Box filters only filter out about 20% of dust and 5% of mold, mildew, and other bacteria. 

Media Filters are an increased filtration system that can be installed to any home. They draw air in, clean it, and then recirculate the clean air throughout the home. They are more efficient than box filters because they can filter out 90% of all dust in the home and 90% of all mold, mildew, bacteria, and pollen. It will filter 5 times more dust and as much as 20 times more mold. When you have cleaner air going in and cleaner air going out, it will greatly improve the efficiency of your system while making your home that much more contaminant free.

If you are unsure about the quality of your indoor air, the best thing to do is have your home inspected by a professional. The experts at JW East know what to look for when it comes to home contaminants. We will thoroughly inspect your entire home and give you advice on what you can do to make the air quality in your home better.