As the autumn leaves begin to fall and the temperature drops from its summer high, fall allergies can begin to affect our health just like allergies in springtime. Symptoms of ragweed, mold and dust mites include runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and coughing. But do not fear, at Renewal by Andersen of Sacramento we’ve learned which precautions you can take to prevent fall allergies from building up in your home.
By monitoring the weather, pollen count and the cleanliness throughout your house, you can fight back against these pesky allergens and fungi—starting by caring for your windows and the areas around them. Keep in mind, preparing yourself against allergens, fungi and pollens doesn’t mean standing guard at the window! Simply by taking the precautions mentioned below can help make your fall allergies more manageable throughout the autumn season.
Ragweed, a late summer allergy and common cause of hay fever, persists well into September and can continue until overnight freezes start to set in. Nearly 75% of those allergic to spring plants also react to ragweed, with its pollen able to travel for hundreds of miles in the wind.
To avoid ragweed buildup, stay indoors with the windows closed as much as possible, especially during mid-morning and early afternoon hours, vacuuming carpets and cleaning upholstery near your windows and doors regularly—and at the beginning of the season, don’t forget to wash your window curtains.
Mold and mildew crop up in the fall as well, given the dampness that collects along the edges of windows, both internally and externally, not to mention any lingering mold spores that developed from unusually warm late season temperatures. Fallen leaves on the ground and in your gutters can also invite unwelcome mold and mildew into your home (these fungi grow both indoors and outdoors) and increase irritation to fall allergies.
To remove the chance of mold accumulating, regularly check your bathroom, kitchen and basement windows for buildup, and clean these surfaces using vinegar or anti-mildew agents (mold is a top cause of window failure). When raking leaves and cleaning gutters near your windows, make sure to keep them closed, keeping compost and leaf piles far away from your home.
Once the temperature drops enough for your heater to turn on, this air circulation can stir up dust mites throughout your home, a major cause of asthma and fall allergies, especially in children and the older adults (about 10 percent of Americans are allergic to dust mites).
To prevent fall allergens like dust mites in your home, clean or change out your air vents and filters before turning on your heater for the first time. If your current windows are letting cool fall air into your home, causing your heater to turn on unnecessarily, it might be time to schedule a free consultation with Renewal by Andersen of Sacramento to review your options and the solutions we provide.