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Preparing for Winter Allergies

It's suddenly feeling like fall here! Winter isn't far behind. Last month was indoor air quality awareness month and it got me thinking about the state of my indoor air during the winter and what I need to do to make it better.

 - Change the filters in our heating system – we got a new system last year and it has a HEPA filter. Need to get DH to  figure out what filters we have and get them replaced before we turn on the heat. It was 61°F in here this morning, so need him to get on that!

 - Need to dust…everything! I've been slacking over the summer and there is dust everywhere! Dust that contains all sorts of allergens like pollen that came in. All that will be blown around w/ our forced air heating system. My office is the worst right now and I really need to tackle it! There are piles of clutter that I just need to deal with.

 - Check the window seals – in the past, I've had issues with mold growth in window seals. Mold is one of my worst asthma triggers.

 - Speaking of mold….need to keep all the leaves and stuff cleaned up. We have a gardening service that comes once a month to clean things up. DH does the rest in between that. They were here one Saturday and by Monday, you couldn't even tell! All those leaves piled up w/ the rain coming are going be an issue for me with the mold growth.

What do you do to prepare for winter allergy season? Am I forgetting something?

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  • K8sMom2002

    Kathy, much the same as you … we always try to hold off on switching the heat pump from AC to heat until we've swapped out the filter. 

    A good fall cleaning may be just the ticket … I have already started with my monthly wipe downs of cabinets, light switches and door knobs, to prevent the sharing of cold and flu germs. Depending on how many upper respiratory infections are going around, I up the frequency. 

    One thing I'm seeing around here are bugs! For some reason, we've had an infestation of all manner of creepy crawlies this past summer — first it was super dry, and then we wound up with hurricanes. And it's been warm this fall, too. So it seems like I sweep off the porch's collection of spiderwebs in the morning only to see them re-building by the evening! I need to get the house sprayed before winter hits in earnest so that we can properly ventilate it after the pest control man is gone.

  • Megan Roberts

    Here here to all of the above! Except the 61 degree indoor temp… wow that is COLD!!

    Winter is the most heavily triggered asthma season for my household.  Mold triggers, trapped indoor air filled with pet dander, dust, and the dry, cold air that is a trigger itself.  Also, I usually start to do a deep home cleaning/organizing in the fall/early winter, starting with the basement, after which I'm sneezing the rest of the day.  The dust down there is my kryptonite! 

    To keep us going strong, we are stocking up on asthma/allergy meds, trying to keep things as clean as possible with a bunch of elderly furballs leaving dander and fur remnants everywhere, and trying to minimize exposures to others with respiratory infections.  For me, I make sure to wash my hands as soon as I finish working out at the gym, because that's probably the place where I come into contact with the most germs. And I run an air purifier in the (animal free!) bedroom to keep at least that air as allergen-free as possible.  

  • Kathy P

    Yeah, I wound up turning in the heat that day!  It was only up to 63 by noon! I was literally shivering!

    Running the heat doesn't seem to made anything worse! I definitely did not get to dust or  clean anything before I turned it on.  So I'm hoping that the extra $$ we put into the HEPA filter was worth it! 

    Basements are the worse for me. I remember in the house I grew up in, as soon as I opened the door, I could feel it! It's the musty dust that gets me every time! 

    The shy is black and it's supposed to rain for the next few days. Let the mold growth commence! Ugh