5 Common Household Allergens in Charleston, SC

Indoor air pollutants can cause a range of unfortunate health side effects like sneezing, coughing, headaches and fatigue. Learning more about the various allergens in your home can help you protect your family and your well-being. Here are a few of the most common household allergens in Charleston, SC.

1. Pollen

While you may believe pollen is just an outdoor contaminant, it can sneak into your home via your open windows and doors. Once it’s inside, it will settle on your upholstery and begin circulating in your ductwork. The most common types of pollen come from grass and ragweed, but you may also experience symptoms from exposure to sagebrush and various tree pollens.

Those with pollen sensitivities often experience sinus headaches that become more common during the warmer months. You can minimize your exposure by leaving your shoes outside and keeping your windows closed on windy days. It’s also helpful to invest in higher-quality air filters that will keep your indoor air quality healthy.

2. Dust

The average household’s dust is a mixture of indoor and outdoor contaminants. Part of the microscopic particles includes dead skin flakes, hair and carpet fibers.

The rest is dirt and debris swept in from outside. Millions of people are allergic to the dust mites that thrive in environments with low air quality.

These pests feast on skin flakes and live in your bedding, carpeting, furniture and fabrics. A certain protein in their feces can irritate your sinuses and cause skin redness and itchiness. Those with allergies to mites are more likely to experience symptoms at night and in the morning after being near the bed.

Your dust problems may worsen over time if you neglect to care for your ducts and HVAC system. Preventive maintenance can stop debris from building up and triggering your allergies.

3. Fungal Spores

Fungus spores thrive in warm, moist environments like your basement, bathroom or kitchen. As your humidity level rises, you’re more likely to find dark spots under your cabinets and along your walls. Other signs of a fungal problem include frequent condensation on your windows, unpleasant odors and visible discoloration or stains.

Your home’s humidity level can fluctuate depending on your daily habits, the local environment and the quality of your plumbing. Exposure to these spores may result in itchy eyes, skin irritation, difficulty breathing and a runny nose. A dehumidifier will keep your humidity level consistent and safe no matter the season.

4. Pet Hair and Dander

The most common pet allergies originate from contact with your furry companion’s hair, dead skin and saliva. Cats are more likely to trigger allergies than dogs due to the excessive saliva proteins found on their fur. These allergens can bury themselves into your fabrics and remain in your home for several months.

Reduce your symptoms by routinely bathing and brushing your animal outside. Keep pets off your furniture and out of your bedrooms. You should also regularly vacuum and clean your home and consider researching air purifiers for all-year-long protection.

5. Insects and Rodents

Insects, like cockroaches, are often found in schools, commercial buildings and highly populated urban areas. However, after spending time in a contaminated area, you can inadvertently bring them into your home. Cockroaches, rats, mice, ants and more all carry bacteria and contaminants that can dirty your living space and even make your family sick.

When faced with a pest infestation, it’s best to rely on a professional exterminator. After clearing out the insects, call for a duct cleaning to ensure there’s no lingering debris in your HVAC system. Sanitizing your home after an outbreak will protect your health and prevent another infestation.

It’s vital to practice healthy home habits and take the right measures to address allergens in your living spaces. In addition to establishing a thorough cleaning routine, you should also schedule care for your HVAC and ventilation systems. Call our team at AC Heating and Air Conditioning for exceptional indoor air quality services in Charleston, SC.

Image provided by iStock

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