- BY Pure Air Control Services
- POSTED IN Building Sciences, IAQ Learning Institute
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While spring allergies cause discomfort for millions of Americans across the country, fall is no slouch when it comes to triggering symptoms. Rotting leaves produce mold and ragweed release pollen during the autumn months with a peak in September. Indoors, the same culprits of dust and dander trigger symptoms. Read on to learn more about Autumn allergen’s impact on IAQ as well as solutions to lessen their effect.
What Are Indoor Allergens?
What are the autumn allergens impacting IAQ? For the most part, they’re the same things that affect IAQ all year round. We track dirt, pollen, leaves, and other organic matter inside buildings when we enter. Of course, the main indoor allergens of dust mites, pet dander, and cockroaches are already there.
Airborne allergens travel through the building and can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms in building occupants. These tiny particles also settle on furniture, carpeting, and other surfaces. Once disturbed, they get sent airborne once more. Thorough cleaning reduces the number of allergens both at home and in the office.
The Impact of Autumn Allergens on IAQ
It’s not possible to control the quality of outdoor air, but indoor air quality is a different matter. For building managers and homeowners too, controlling indoor allergens improves IAQ. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends three ways to improve IAQ:
- Control contact with indoor allergens
- Provide adequate ventilation indoors
- Use air cleaners to clean indoor air
Thorough cleaning of surfaces and vacuuming twice per week reduces the number of indoor Autumn allergens. Keeping HVAC symptoms running properly reduces humidity as well as dust mites. Closed windows prevent pollen from entering. Controlling cockroaches also reduce indoor allergens. These steps can be taken at work and the home.
Controlling indoor allergens is tricky for pet owners, but limiting the areas of the home where pets are allowed can help. HVAC systems provide clean air indoors. Maintaining these systems is a big part of improving IAQ. Air cleaners featuring a HEPA filter also remove allergens from the air. These devices are available for both home and work.
Identifying the Main Sources of Allergens
Allergens exist everywhere in nature. They’re outside, of course, but they also enter our homes and workplaces. Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust attach to our clothing and we spread them from building to building.
In the home, some of the main sources of allergens include:
- Carpeting, upholstery, and other furniture
- Stuffed children’s toys
- Bedding including mattresses
- Damp areas with high humidity
- House plants
At work, allergens could include any or all of the following:
- Perfume and cologne
- Volatile Organic chemicals (VOCs)
- Mold, pollen, and bacteria
- Wood dust
Steps to Control Allergens in Commercial Buildings
For commercial buildings, autumn allergens impact IAQ as well. WTI | Pure Air Control Services offers several systems and methods to improve indoor air quality.
Building Health Check Based on HVAC Zones
Our Building Health Check is an affordable, thorough evaluation of the indoor environment. Based on the building’s HVAC zones, the health check uses field and lab assays to determine the biological conditions of a building. It is useful in determining how Autumn allergens impact IAQ. The Lab at WTI tests air and surface samples to determine the presence of bacteria, mold, and other allergens. Our technicians also take temperature readings as well as log relative humidity and wall moisture. The collected data provides a clear picture of building conditions as well as guidance on IAQ improvements.
PURE-Duct Cleaning Method Reduces Autumn Allergens
Our PURE-Duct method uses high-pressure air flow to knock out built-up dirt and debris. Once the allergens are loose, they get sucked up by a commercial-grade vacuum. This vacuum system uses a HEPA filter to trap tiny particles and prevent them from circulating.
Reducing Autumn Allergen Impact on IAQ with An HVAC Assessment
Our HVAC Assessment is another useful tool in the effort to reduce the impact of Autumn allergens. This assessment keeps HVAC systems in top working order. It includes visual inspections of the AHU, as well as the drain pan, coils, and ductwork. Collected samples get sent to the Lab at WTI and performance testing gauges the impact of static pressure on the fan and coils.
Additional testing and analysis are available and include:
- Air filtration
- Energy usage
- Building pressure
- Building envelope tightness
Learn More About How Autumn Allergens Impact IAQ
Building managers and homeowners can reduce the impact of Autumn allergens on IAQ. Contact WTI – Pure Air Control for more information.