Spring here in the far north can be a beautiful time of year. Warming temperatures, new green, nesting birds, and more sunlight are all welcome changes from our long cold winters.
But for many Canadians, spring simply means one thing….pollen, and lots of it. It is hard to enjoy the signs of spring when your eyes are watering, your nose is running and your head is pounding.
What can you do to find relief? Read on!
Climate Change Means Pollen Season Is Just Going to Get Worse
The truth is, pollen is already the most common allergen nationwide. And according to climatologists, as climate change continues, it is just going to get worse.
Pollen season is now projected to start 40 days earlier than it has in years past. And the annual pollen count? It is likely to increase by as much as 250 per cent!
Here in Canada, we have three major pollen seasons:
- Tree pollen season happens from mid-April to late May.
- Weed and grass pollen season happens from late May to mid-July.
- Ragweed pollen season happens from mid-August through October.
That is seven months out of 12 with anticipated pollen counts high enough to cause moderate to severe allergy symptoms. And we haven’t even talked about airborne mould and mildew, bacteria, fungi, microbes and VOCs that can also cause health symptoms.
So let’s talk about what you can do to minimize allergies and asthma attacks for your family.
Battling Pollen With Better Indoor Air Quality
The challenge with battling pollen is that it easily infiltrates the average indoor space. Pollen can come in on your hair, clothes, skin and shoes. It comes in with your pets. It even floats in through open doors and windows.
Pollen can make its way inside through small cracks in your home or business structure – through the same places where micro-air leaks drive up energy bills.
This means battling pollen requires a multi-level approach. Some of this you can control simply with changes in daily habits. Other aspects require making use of technology that can accomplish what you can’t on your own.
What You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Indoor Air
Right now, today, you can start cleaning up your indoor air quality – even with some simple shifts in your daily habits.
1. Change clothes and take a shower when you come home.
The pollen you bring indoors with you will readily join your indoor air ecosystem…unless you keep it out.
This starts the moment you come home – before you head indoors.
Take your shoes off outside. Remove your clothing and leave it in the washroom area. Take a shower and wash your hair.
This ensures you are not adding fresh pollen to your indoor ecosystem and also removes pollen irritants clinging to your skin, clothes and hair that could easily enter your airways and cause allergy symptoms.
2. Keep windows and doors closed.
When spring arrives, it feels so tempting to throw open windows and doors to air out the house. But this is not a recipe for success when your family includes those who suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma.
3. Reconsider household cleaning and personal care products.
While pollen allergies are in a different category than allergies to other environmental toxins, one can definitely exacerbate the other.
When you make a switch to non-toxic cleaning products and essential oils, you bolster your immune system to fight off pollen allergies more effectively.
4. Add Air Filtration and Ventilation
Air filtration and ventilation are a power duo for fighting seasonal allergies.
Modern air filtration makes use of several cutting-edge technologies to remove even the tiniest micro-particulates – solids, gases and liquids – from your indoor air.
A HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air filtration) can easily be retrofitted to work with any ducted HVAC system. And the standalone portable filtration units can work just as well for non-ducted systems.
NOTE: Do not try to add a HEPA filter to a standard residential HVAC system. This may cause furnace or air conditioning failure and/or a home fire!
Since ventilating naturally with open windows or doors is not an option for allergy sufferers, the next best thing is a heat recovery ventilator (HRV system). These amazing energy-efficient systems are now required for all new Toronto-area construction.
5. Schedule Our Professional Air Duct Cleaning Services Annually
Indoor air duct cleaning technology is a relatively new entrant to the air quality industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends considering professional air duct cleaning services in the following situations:
- When you have had a significant dust-producing home renovation.
- When there is evidence of mould or mildew.
- When you see airborne dust or contaminants.
- When someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma.
The high-definition robotic micro-cameras are what we use to allow you and your service technician to see right into your air ducts to determine how much debris, dust or mould is present. From there, you can make the decision about when to schedule your indoor air duct cleaning services.
Many of our indoor air quality clients who have not found relief through other means discover their allergy and asthma symptoms improving after having their air ducts cleaned.
Some tell us their indoor air is so clean they can actually smell the difference!
Shipton’s CleanAir Solutions Is An Industry Leader in Indoor Air Quality
We are proud to have nearly a century of serving the HVAC and indoor air quality needs of our Hamilton Ontario area customers.
Battling spring allergies? Our knowledgeable indoor air quality experts can guide you to the right services and products to help you feel better fast.
P.S. Don’t forget to reserve your special spring deal – 10% off any indoor air duct cleaning and $50 off any whole house humidifier installation.