Canada has made global news headlines of late. Thanks to climate change, our allergy season is getting longer…or should we say, even longer, since Canada’s abundance of green life has always caused health challenges for seasonal allergy sufferers.
While the length of any given allergy season can increase or decrease based on weather patterns, Weather Network researchers state that over the last 15 years or so, allergy season has increased by a full month annually!
Just in case you thought this was the worst air quality news, researchers have also put out a heads-up that allergy symptoms are worsening as the years go by. Here, the culprit is worsening air quality, which pumps more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and encourages the trees to amp up their pollen output.
If you are one of the estimated 25 to 30 percent of Canadians who suffer from seasonal allergies, this news can sound very discouraging. But here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we want you to know there is a lot you can do to fight back and stay healthy no matter what is going on in the air outside.
Your Indoor Air Is More Toxic Than the Air Outside!
As of 2017, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the toxicity of the air inside many homes and workplaces throughout North America is anywhere from 2 to 5 times more toxic than the air just outside these spaces.
What does this mean for you, as a seasonal allergy sufferer? In general, it means that there are a lot more toxins floating about in your indoor air supply than you would expect.
Of course, pollen is one of the many potent toxins that can find its way inside your home and office with relative ease. It comes in on your hair, skin, clothing and shoes and then becomes part of the airborne molecules that are continually circulated throughout your space.
But there are many other aggressive irritants already present in your indoor air that can increase the symptoms of breathing in seasonal pollen.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are some of the most concerning pollutants and also some of the most difficult to strip out of your indoor air supply. This is because they are present in everything from air fresheners to perfumes, paint to adhesives, furnishings to furniture.
6 Cleaning Tips to Purify Your Indoor Air
According to the University of Georgia’s cooperative (agricultural) extension, up to 40 percent of indoor toxins enter your home or office by hitching a ride on you or your pet.
Even worse, up to 85 percent of those toxins release into your indoor air supply during the first four steps you take from outside to inside your door!
The remaining 60 percent of your indoor air toxins are generated from within your space. This means that how you enter and exist in your space and how you clean will have a huge impact on the quality of your indoor air.
Here are six tips to block both indoor and outdoor toxins from gaining a foothold in your indoor air supply.
Clean everything in the right order
The very first cleaning task you should do is dust. Everything else you do, from laundry to vacuuming to spray-cleaning surfaces, will pick up any dust that remains.
Also, when you start dusting, dust from the top down. So if you have a four-shelf unit to dust, start by dusting the top shelf and then work your way down. This helps you minimize escaping dust, since you can catch it again as it drifts downward.
Dust with microfiber
Using a microfiber cloth to dust mini-blinds, shelving, furniture and knick-knacks can contain the amount of dust and debris that is released into the air you breathe while you are dusting.
Vacuum thoroughly just once per week
If you have a habit of powering up the vacuum frequently to spot-vacuum high-traffic areas, experts say this can make the dust and pollen count inside your home worse rather than better.
Instead, the Weather Network experts recommend doing one thorough vacuuming session once per week.
Also vacuum furniture cushions, pads and mattresses to send dust mites packing!
Give your bedding a hot water bath
Running a washer cycle with 55 degree Celsius (130 degree Fahrenheit) hot water can sanitize your bedding, pillows, stuffed toys, pet toys, curtains and throws to neutralize toxins and pollen.
Double up on the welcome mats
Welcome mats today are often viewed as a home decor accessory. But really, they have a fundamentally practical use—to trap dust and pollen before it can enter your home or office!
However, just wiping your feet on the outdoor mat won’t capture more than just the first layer of pollen, dust and other allergens. Wiping your feet on a second mat when you step inside will remove an additional layer of irritants.
Leaving your outdoor shoes by that indoor welcome mat will ensure any remaining pollutants do not get a third chance to enter your indoor air supply.
Schedule an indoor air duct cleaning
Many older air duct systems have never been professionally cleaned. This isn’t so concerning if your air duct system is relatively new. But for older duct systems, this can add up to quite a lot of trapped toxic debris inside the air ducts that is just continuing to pile up.
An indoor air duct cleaning restores your air ducts to their original squeaky clean condition in less than one day’s time.
Get in Touch
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470 to schedule your indoor air quality consultation!