Ragweed and Other Reasons to Keep Outside Out

If you’ve been experiencing itchy or watery eyes lately or noticed that you are sneezing, sniffling, or itching more than often, you might be allergic to ragweed pollens.

This is the time of year ragweed and other weeds are the most common pollens in the air.  Single ragweed can produce over one billion grains of pollen.  Can you imagine unleashing one billion particles of allergy-causing misery? It is like single ragweed is an invading army and your immune system just doesn’t stand a chance. Doesn’t it make you want to sneeze just to think about it?

Well, the same wonderful end of summer and early fall weather that triggers the ragweeds to produce pollen also tempts us to open our windows.  But, if you have allergies it is really not a great idea.  It is best to keep the outside out.  It also seems counter-intuitive to the idea of “fresh” air.

I was speaking to a young man in the midwest earlier this week about his conflicting desires to want the “freshest” air in his house balanced with his desire for his daughter to breathe the cleanest air.

He had been researching air exchanging units and had read some pretty convincing marketing materials supporting the benefits of “clean” air from the outside.  His question was spot on,  “If this unit brought air in from outside and the air had pollen or mold, was he making things better or worse?”

Well, if this unit sucked the air from outside and did nothing to clean that air, then things would be worse.  If the unit brought air in, cleaned it up, then dumped it into the house, then it truly would be “fresh” air.

Remember you don’t want to bring more pollen or mold into your house than already sneaks in every time you open a door.  Remember, you also carry bits of pollen and molds from the air on your clothes and hair if you go outside when counts are high.  It really is best to keep the outside out.

If you do open your windows, then run your HEPA air cleaner on high.  Put it to work sucking up those particles.  Look into using MicroAirScreen Window Air Screens that will allow you to open your window 8″ but still block those pollens and molds.

Also, take a moment to check the pollen levels before you open up.  Many newspapers print pollen counts and you can always visit Pollen.Com to get your local forecast.  They even have a mobile app that you can download if that’s your style. So, no matter how you approach it, keep the outside out and the inside in.

Til Next Time!

Allergy Control Products for Seasonal Allergy – Part 3

So far, we have talked about arming yourself with pollen counts (and that nifty Pollen.Com mobile app), knowing when to be outside, when to wear a mask, how to keep from spreading pollen in your house, and how to rinse pollen easily and safely from the nasal and sinus passages.  You can get the entire story at Allergy Control Products for Seasonal Allergies, Parts 1 and 2.  Today we are going to focus on allergy control products for seasonal allergy that clean the air around you.

If you remember, the pollens that cause the most problems are air-borne.  That is why it is important to stay inside on windy days when pollen counts are high.  It is also very important to keep all windows and doors tightly closed.  This is to prevent pollen from coming into the house.  Your house should be your “safe zone” where you take refuge from pollens.

But what if the lure of the outside is irresistible?  Or what if the temperatures are rising and its just too warm or stuffy to keep the windows closed?  It is possible to stop large particles like pollen (yes, in the world of microns…pollen is considered large) with specialized filtering material made into screens.

The MicroAirScreen actually repels pollen particles when they come in contact with the material.  That is why this screen material won’t clog up like most mat-type filtering media.  These highly specialized screens are designed to allow double hung windows to be opened to a height of 8 inches.  This will permit air flow and ventilation but not allow in pollen, insects, and other undesirables.  When the weather warms and it is time to turn on the air conditioning, you just remove the air screen from the window and store it for another year.  In milder climates, we have customers that use the screens year around, especially in the bedroom.

Speaking of bedrooms, conventional wisdom has always been that most pollen is spread in the day time.  However, at the recent AAACI meeting, I saw a study done in Central Texas that showed that the juniper trees in that area were actually releasing more pollen at night than in the day.  This means that people who thought they could sleep with the windows open because pollen counts were low need to re-think that activity.

If you already own an air cleaner, you will probably want to run it on the medium and high settings when pollen counts are the highest.  No matter how careful you are in not spreading pollen in the house, it is like death and taxes…inevitable.  You are going to bring some in.  So, make sure your air cleaner is working at its utmost to grab that particle and suck it in and hold it tight so you can’t breathe it.  Also, if the doors are going to be constantly opened and closed on windy or high pollen count days (think the kids in and out and the pets in and out like most week-end days at the typical family home) then you want your air cleaner trapping those particles as fast as the family brings them inside.  If you have one of the machines that requires frequent filter changes, make sure you start the pollen season with a fresh filter.  If you don’t have a filter but are thinking of investing in one, I recommend the Austin Air HealthMate.  It is the machine I use in my own home and I find them to be reliable and cost-effective over the long-term.

Don’t let seasonal allergies stop you when their are allergy control strategies and allergy control products that can help.


Til Next Time!

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What’s the State of your Air Pollution?

The American Lung Association has released their State of the Air report. You can check it out at State of the Air.  You can even enter your State and ZIP code to get the air pollution report for your area.

I entered entered my ZIP to check my air pollution level and discovered that according to the report, the air in my area is not so good.

Well, I know that!  Living by the Everglades we have lots of molds and pollens year around.  However, I was fascinated to find out that those natural particles are included when they calculate air pollution.

So I guess that when we read about air pollution, the term includes both natural (like molds and pollens) as well as man-made (like soot and car emissions).  The page also gives the scary thought that 6 of 10 Americans live in an area with poor air quality.

Sure makes me glad that I have invested in my Austin Air Healthmate air cleaners.  I can live in one of those high particle areas and breathe easy knowing that my HEPA filters are capturing those molds,  pollens, as well as the household dust that causes my allergies.  My Austin Air machines also have carbon and zeolite to get some of those man-made pollutants out as well.Right now, you can purchase an Austin Air HealthMate and get $25 off the price by entering Promo Code AF47 at check-out.

No matter the State of the Air, Austin Air is there to help.


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