Welcome March, Welcome Allergies
March is typically known as the roller coaster month of the year unless -like me- you live in St. Louis, where the weather seems to change quickly year round. Even though some luckier regions experience spring a little earlier than others, there is one troublesome commonality that plagues us around the nation – spring allergies! Some individuals may be lucky enough to open their windows to enjoy the spring air with no concern, but many others have to be very careful on how they handle the ever-changing weather to cope with their allergies.
Windows Open or Closed?
As soon as the weather breaks and temperatures warm, I’m ready to open every window in the house to let the fresh air in. If you are like me, not only do you risk more exposure to allergens but, what about the effect on my utilities? When the temperature is jumping from 80 and dropping back down to the 30’s and back up to the 50’s, it can take a toll on our furnaces and air conditioners. While there are many ways to warm and cool your home to get the best benefit of the weather, a little planning can help optimize the use of your HVAC units.
Throwing caution to the wind when it gets warm and just opening every window in the house may not be the best solution. Since the early morning and late nights may still be quite chilly, try leaving your blinds down (or curtains closed) until the morning sun hits them. Once it warms up a little, go ahead and raise your blinds (or open your curtains) to get the sun warm up your home through your windows. When it feels warm enough to open windows to let in a warm breeze, go for it! Just be sure to shut your windows and blinds at night since it may get quite cold again.
Once you have mastered your method of warming/cooling your home with the spring weather, it’s a good time to address other areas that may have been neglected during the winter. Your HVAC unit filters will probably need replacement, and should be checked every three months. Try checking them more often if you have severe allergies. This also a good time to have your annual regular maintenance on your units, such as cleaning coils, lubricating moving parts, checking thermostat settings and making sure all ducts are properly sealed. Once all HVAC components are checked , it’s a good time to get started on spring cleaning early. Begin by dusting all surfaces including fans. Since they will be running more, get them clean now and check up on them every week or so.
Spring is a great time to go over every inch of your home and be sure you have removed all sources of allergies, be it your fans, surfaces and even bed sheets. After all, they don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing!
by Danielle Drapp, HomeNav