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Dust mites are the enemy for allergy sufferers, and many who live in the Austin area assume that plants, trees, weeds and other things outdoors are what cause or contribute to the sneezing, coughing, wheezing, watery eyes and other symptoms they suffer.  The truth is, it could be what’s inside your home that’s making you miserable – dust mites.

Poor indoor air quality is something that’s fairly common, but that few homeowners in the Central Texas areas give thought to when family members suffer from allergies, sneezing, coughing, or other respiratory issues.  There are many sources of allergens inside your home you may not have thought of.  These include:

  • Damp areas such as kitchens and bathrooms
  • Mattresses that are not enclosed in allergy covers
  • Bedding, pillows or other sleep items that cannot be laundered in hot water
  • Pets
  • Carpets in bedrooms and living areas
  • Furniture with upholstery such as fabrics that cannot be cleaned as well as leather
  • Kids’ stuffed toys
  • Indoor plants

About 80% of people in the U.S. are regularly exposed to dust mites, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) advises that homeowners can improve indoor air quality by:

Making use of air cleaners and filters to clean the air inside your home

Ventilating indoor spaces (through HVAC equipment, opening windows, etc.)

Limiting contact with airborne allergens that may be indoors (carpet dust and dander, pets, humid or moist air, or other factors that support the presence of dust mites)

Our Austin HVAC professionals know it’s impossible to have completely clean air that’s free of dust mites or allergens.  However, it IS possible to enjoy cleaner, healthier air so that you experience the symptoms of allergies less often.  A HEPA or high efficiency particulate air filter will help get rid of pollen, dust and dirt particles, cooking odors, chemical vapors, pollen, dust mites, tobacco smoke and other pollutants that often contribute to allergens.  Some homeowners also rely on ultraviolet germicidal lights to help prevent germs or other biological contaminants inside their HVAC systems.

Given the high humidity levels in Austin and throughout Texas in spring and summer months, portable or whole-house dehumidifiers are often effective for removing excess moisture that can lead to the growth of mold or mildew.  There are many ways to enjoy healthier air during the fall and winter season while reducing allergy symptoms.

Learn more about how you can keep dust mites and other indoor allergens under control during fall and winter months by contacting the Austin heating & cooling professionals at Schneider Mechanical today!