The consistently warm climate has led many people to call Texas their home. However, that does not mean that Texas is without its fair share of allergies. In fact, Texas can expose you to allergens year-round. These tips will help you identify, and avoid, some of Texas’ most common allergens.
You can expect an increase in oak pollen in Texas soon. Oak pollen comes from the oak trees and affects allergy sufferers all over the country. However, Texas tends to get a bad oak pollen season in the early spring months. Oak pollen is sticky, meaning it can easily get stuck to everything including your HVAC filter.
You can expect ragweed to show up in Texas during the fall months. Because the temperatures in Texas very rarely drop below freezing, the ragweed plants are free to grow. These plants can let off over one billion grains of pollen each fall into the Texas air. It is common for these pollen grains to make it inside your home through clothing, shoes, and your HVAC unit.
Cottonwood shows up later in the spring season but can cause just as much havoc as oak pollen does. Additionally, cottonwood tends to be thicker than other air allergens and can actually clog up your home’s air vents. If you have an allergy to cottonwood, this can make the air in your home unbearable. Even if you are not allergic to cottonwood, the fact that it blocks the fresh air from entering your home can actually exacerbate other allergy symptoms.
In other parts of the country when allergens are disappearing for the winter months, the mountain cedar picks up in Texas. Mountain cedar is most rampant as the temperatures drop, meaning you are more affected during the Texas winter. Most Texans are very familiar with the Texas Cedar Fever which can mimic cold and flu symptoms. The mountain cedar pollen can travel hundreds of miles. If the pollens make it into your HVAC filters, you will likely feel miserable with a runny nose, inflammation, and severe congestion.
Managing Allergens in your Texas Home
Because Texas has year-round air allergens, it is very important to take preventative action to avoid them. Your HVAC unit is designed to move air throughout your home. This means that it can also spread common allergens like oak pollen and mountain cedar throughout the home. Maintaining your HVAC unit with preventative maintenance and professional cleanings is one of the best ways to avoid an especially difficult allergy season.
Taking steps like sealing ducts can also help with keeping harmful allergens out of the home. Pollen that is responsible for the most common allergy attacks can make it inside the home through the HVAC unit, household cracks, or leaky ducts.
In addition to professional services to keep your HVAC unit and air ducts clean, there are also steps that you can take to reduce the airborne allergens in your home. Your home’s air filter is the first defense against common allergens as well as dust and debris. Although professionals recommend changing your air filter every 90 days in an average household, it may be necessary to change it more often during common allergen times.
It is also important to keep in mind that allergens can be manageable one year and then unbearable the next. The Texas allergy season varies from year to year. If you notice that you have an increase in allergy symptoms, it may be a good idea to schedule a professional cleaning and change your air filters. It is also important to choose air filters that are specifically built for your unit while also considering minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) versus microparticle performance rating (MPR) filters.
Your HVAC unit may be one of the most important tools you can use to control your allergies. Your home’s HVAC unit is directly responsible for filtering out some of Texas’ most common allergens. Keeping up with routine maintenance and DIY cleaning tasks can help you manage these allergens. Call Willard Heating and Air Conditioning today at (972) 395-5139 to take control over Texas’ allergy season.
Image provided by Shutterstock