Avoiding Common Allergens

Contaminants in the air inside your Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, home can lead to allergy symptoms, reduce your indoor air quality, and make you and your family uncomfortable. These contaminants often contribute to sore throats, coughing, sneezing, headaches, eye irritation, runny noses, rashes, and fatigue. Many indoor pollutants can be problematic throughout the year, and they can make allergy symptoms and asthma attacks occur more frequently. Find out how regular housekeeping and HVAC system servicing can help you avoid problems with common allergens such as pet dander and pollen in your home.

Pet Dander

Dogs, cats, birds, and other animals shed small pieces of skin called pet dander along with their fur or feathers. Since pet dander can adhere to your clothing, you can easily transport it to various areas of your home. If you have pets, consider having professionals bathe and groom them regularly.

To keep pet dander from spreading throughout your house, dust and vacuum your home regularly, keep pets off your furniture, and close doors to bedrooms. Change your HVAC system’s air filter at least once a month. A dirty or clogged air filter can spread pet dander and other substances through your ductwork.

While no pets are completely hypoallergenic, some animals are bred to produce less dander. Consider a poodle, a Portuguese water dog, or a Kerry blue terrier.

Pollen and Other Plant Parts

Even if you stay indoors most of the time, you could suffer from pollen allergies. People and pets can bring this allergen inside on their clothes and fur, and you could encounter pollen anywhere plants grow.

You can use an air purifier to remove pollen particles from inside your home and improve your indoor air quality. Ask guests and family members to take off their shoes and coats before they come into your home, and have someone who isn’t allergic to pollen do your yard work. After you walk your dog, wipe down your pet with a damp cloth to remove any pollen particles from your dog’s fur.

Avoid houseplants that produce pollen-containing flowers. Keep in mind that ficus or weeping fig trees produce sap that often attaches to dust particles. Since the sap contains many of the same proteins as latex, people with latex allergies can have unpleasant reactions to this plant as well.

Instead of a ficus, use an artificial tree or buy a yucca instead. A yucca has thin, pointed leaves that give the plant a distinct appearance. The yucca can remove toxins from your home’s air that can increase your allergy symptoms. These substances include formaldehyde, acetone, ammonia, and xylene, items that many commercial cleaners and air fresheners emit.

Be careful of introducing oxeye daisies, a plant species related to ragweed, in your spring or summer flower arrangements. People who are allergic to ragweed are also more likely to have rashes or sinus problems from chamomile. For some individuals, drinking teas or using lotions that contain chamomile can cause allergic reactions.


Household pests, such as cockroaches and dust mites, often contribute to allergy symptoms. Dust mites are related closely to ticks and spiders. They eat dead skin, pet dander, and other organic matter in dust, and they thrive in humid areas of the country such as South Carolina. These pests often live in rugs, furniture, and bedding, and they’re almost invisible to the naked eye. Use a dehumidifier to make your home less hospitable to them.

You can keep dust mites from getting comfortable in your bedding by washing blankets and sheets at least once a week in hot water. Be sure to use dustproof covers on your pillows and your mattress.

AC Heating and Air Conditioning Services has more than 45 years of indoor air quality and HVAC experience is a Trane Comfort Specialist. For outstanding service from our HVAC professionals, call us at (843) 277-9928.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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