For many people, spring is a welcome relief from the cold, hard winter. Those who suffer from allergies, however, have a different view. By the time April and May roll around, allergy sufferers are sneezing and blowing their noses like no tomorrow. It can be a very hard time of year if you’re one of them.
The fact is that 10 million Canadians suffer from allergy symptoms. That’s about a quarter of the population. Most rely on expensive medications to get them through the spring, but really wish they didn't have to.
There is a Better Way
If you’re looking for natural allergy relief, you’ll find tons of plant-based treatments online, most of which don’t actually work. Many others have unwelcome side effects. What most people don’t know is that the only real way to reduce your symptoms without drugs is to just remove the allergen particles from the air using a good air filtration and purification system.
What’s the difference between a filter and a purifier?
- Air filters screen out irritating particles such as pollen grains, mould spores or even gas molecules. They will also clean the air of other harmful particles and odors, such as tobacco smoke.
- Air purifiers use ultraviolet (UV) light in your home ventilation system to kill micro-organisms including bacteria and viruses.
The right one for you will depend on what you're allergic to, and how severely. For most springtime allergy sufferers, a filter is the right place to start because they trap pollen grains. The improvement can be astounding, and most people find they can reliance or even stop taking allergy medication…at least indoors.
Most importantly, air filters will also help you sleep. At night, not only can allergies make falling asleep difficult, but symptoms can actually get worse. The respiratory system relaxes at night, and it’s harder for your lungs to filter out air particles.
What natural allergy solutions should you use? The following spring allergy relief tips will help guide you on the way to better breathing.
1. Whole-Home Air Filters
Whole-home air filtration can be put into almost any heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This type of filtration comes in all sizes, types and prices. You can easily find one that suits your pocketbook and needs.
These systems can be usually installed quickly and have easy upkeep. You only need to clean and replace the filter every one or two months. As large, powerful units they are able to clean your air much more effectively than smaller freestanding units.
Whole-home air filtration systems also:
- Don’t keep you tied to the one room where you have your portable air filter.
- Are cheaper than buying portable air filters for every room in your home. Most freestanding filters can only take care of a one room at a time, so to treat your entire home you'd need to buy many units. That means buying many replacement filter cartridges as well.
- Can increase the life and performance of your HVAC system by removing dust and airborne allergy particles.
- Run quieter than portable units.
- Are “invisible”, unlike boxy portable models that dot various rooms.
All of these factors make a whole-home system the better buying choice. Contact Husky Heating and Air Conditioning for more details on these systems.
2. Check Out UV Purification Systems
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) sterilizes forced air that passes by UV lamps. You can also incorporate these lamps into HVAC systems. These lights lower the amount of mould, mildew, spores and bacteria that cause breathing problems and allergies.
For HVAC systems, you can get a light put inside the return air duct to sterilize the air handler coil. This type of “coil sterilization” runs all the time. You can also get a UV light unit that cleans moving air by turning on only when the air handler blower does.
Aside from helping people with allergies, UVGI also:
- Helps prevent germs that cause colds and flus from re-circulating in your home.
- Gets rid of bad odors.
- Removes Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
- Cleans the air handler coil, which keeps your house cooler and reduces electricity costs.
3. Get High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters
HEPA filters are the most popular mechanical filters for allergy relief on the market. You can consider just how effective they are through an interesting fact about their invention. They were first used during the Second World War to prevent radioactive particles from leaking out of U.S. laboratories.
Make sure that you buy a filter or purifier that has a real HEPA certification. There are some products out there that claim they are HEPA filters, but are actually glorified dust catchers.
- True HEPA filters must absorb 99.9 percent of the microscopic air particles that enter them.
- You can avoid shoddy HEPA filters by looking for those that have five- to 10-year warranties.
Benefits of HEPA Filters Beyond Natural Allergy Relief
HEPA filters do more than just remove air allergens, such as pet dander and pollen. Irritants that these filters absorb include:
- Tobacco smoke.
- Some kinds of dust.
HEPA filters can therefore remove very dangerous substances to your health. That’s why you’ll want to get the very best filters, such as HEPA filters, for your home.
Learn more from Husky Heating and Air Conditioning on why you should upgrade your air filters.
4. Optimize Your Home’s Humidity Levels for Natural Allergy Relief
Knowing how to control the humidity in your house can be considered another part of the natural allergy remedy puzzle.
For instance, there are pluses and minuses to having higher humidity levels in your home.
On one hand, increasing your home’s humidity can provide you with allergy relief. Having extra moisture in the air means irritants and allergens can be more easily removed from your nasal cavity. But if your home's humidity level gets too high you run the risk of:
- Dust mites.
- Increased indoor air pollution.
In the end, you have to find a balance between the two extremes; about 35% – 40% is usually considered a great compromise. This is easy during the summer, but difficult in winter when the heat produced by our furnaces dry out the air.
You CAN Get Relief – Naturally
Now that you’ve read this post, obtaining natural allergy relief should be no longer a secret. With these spring allergy relief tips, you should be now well on your way to having an enjoyable, sneeze-free season.