If you or another household member is suffering from respiratory issues as a result of poor indoor air quality (IAQ), chances are you are allergic to one or more components in common household dust, including dust mites. These tiny arachnids related to spiders and ticks cannot bite but proteins found in their bodies and fecal matter can cause an allergic response in susceptible people. By raising your IAQ and reducing the number of dust mites in your home, the respiratory health of your family is likely to improve.
Although dust mites are not the only components present in household dust that can cause allergy symptoms, reducing their numbers is key to minimizing discomfort from poor indoor air quality. Dust mites do not respond to traditional household pesticides, but much can be done to decrease their presence in your home. Some of the following suggestions are specific for dust mites but can also reduce additional contaminants commonly found in many homes:
- Keeping the humidity level below 55 percent, as dust mites thrive in warm, humid conditions but die without sufficient moisture in the air. Using ventilation fans, especially in your kitchen and bathrooms, as well as dehumidifiers in select rooms or a unit designed for your entire home can be very helpful. Also be sure to repair any water leaks anywhere within your home.
- Replacing wall-to-wall carpeting in as much of your home as possible with a smooth material such as hardwood; for areas that are carpeted, a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter should be used frequently.
- Regular replacement of your furnace filter with a model showing a MERV rating of at least 11 or 12 to trap dust particles and prevent their recirculation into your living space.
- Encasing all of your pillows and mattresses in “mite proof” coverings, as well as frequent laundering of all bedclothes.
Homeowners in the Northwest Arkansas area interested in improving their indoor air quality or with any other question related to home comfort can contact the professionals at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal, where we have been taking care of our community since 1968!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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