Spring has Sprung: Home Tweaks to Help You Beat Seasonal Allergies

It’s getting a bit warmer and you may find that you, or others in your family, are sniffling, sneezing and coughing a little more than usual. Unfortunately, while it’s beautiful and refreshing, springtime is also synonymous with something a little less pleasant . . . allergies. Tree pollen is the most common seasonal allergy but mold spores and dust mites are also prevalent during this time of year. Depending on the day and your tolerance for them, the side effects of these contaminants can cause quite a bit of discomfort and can even become debilitating. While there may not be a definite cure for all of them, there are some quick and easy preventative measures you can take right in your very own home to minimize the negative effects of these bothersome seasonal allergens.

Spring Clean

Start the season off right with a good spring cleaning; here’s where to start:

  • Dust thoroughly with a damp cloth
  • Vacuum and mop the floors
  • Wash all bedding and fabric-covered surfaces, including pillows, stuffed animals and furniture
  • Sanitize around sinks and toilets, double-checking for leaks.

Take off Your Shoes

Shoes that have been worn outside can track all kinds of unwanted allergens into your home. Consider putting a shoe rack next to your front door and encourage friends and family to remove their shoes when they enter your house.

Close the Windows

It may be tempting to open your windows up as soon as the weather gets warm but be aware that by doing so, you’re inviting pollen and other contaminants into your home along with that fresh air. Especially on days with a high pollen count, opt for using the air conditioner instead.

Clean Your Air Ducts

Allergens, mold and other harmful toxins can easily find ways into HVAC ductwork, and ultimately into the air you breathe, so it’s important to keep all ducts clean and maintained year-round. Schedule a professional cleaning and consider Aeroseal, a specialized duct sealing process that can not only reduce your energy bills, but can drastically increase your home’s air quality.

Get Rid of Insects and Pests

Make sure to regularly search for and discard of dead bugs found in and around the perimeter of your home, especially those hiding in light fixtures or porch lights. As they decompose, dead insects become a powerful and very unhealthy allergen source.

Adjust the Humidity

If the humidity in your home gets too high, it can create a warm, musty and damp environment – in other words, a breeding ground for mold and dust mites. Consider using a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels under control.

Keep up With HVAC Maintenance

Keeping up with HVAC maintenance will ensure that the air you are breathing in your home is as clean and healthy as it can be. During maintenance appointments, a technician will clean the equipment, replace filters as needed, test carbon monoxide levels and check for other unsafe toxins.

Use a Synthetic Doormat and Clean it Regularly

Place a doormat in front of each entrance to your home. Doormats made of natural materials can get dirty easily and house harmful allergens, so stick to using ones that are synthetic, anti-microbial and easily machine-washable.

Do you suffer from springtime allergies? How do you aim to prevent them in your home? Share with us in the comments section below!

Selling your Home? Don’t Forget about your HVAC System!

There’s so much to think about when it comes to selling your home; it can be easy to overlook heating and cooling. However, an upgraded HVAC system can be a strong selling point while an old, faulty one can deter potential buyers from making an offer. Keep the following in mind when thinking about putting your home on the market!

Schedule maintenance and cleaning before you show your home

You already know you should have a professional inspect and clean your system every 6 months, but if you’ve forgotten once or twice in the last couple of years, now is a great time for an HVAC tune-up. In addition to cleaning and general maintenance, the tech may also be able to give you some insight into your equipment’s remaining lifespan, helping you decide whether to consider replacement options before selling. At the end of your appointment, be sure to get a written report from the technician so you can document the recent servicing for potential buyers.

To upgrade or not to upgrade?

If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, upgrading your HVAC system can make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Consider your target market, and what they may desire when purchasing the home. A first-time homebuyer who has never had to deal with expensive equipment repairs may not value a new system as much as an experienced buyer who has had their fair share of HVAC issues. Also consider the type of home you are putting on the market. While a fixer upper or a starter home may not require a brand new system in order to sell, a home that’s been recently remodeled would probably benefit from newer equipment. Finally, consider when you plan to move. If you know your HVAC system is fading fast and that you’ll be looking to sell your home at some point in the future, why not replace it now and enjoy the benefits, such as greater comfort and lower utility bills, before you move?

. . . But realize the benefits aren’t strictly financial

If you do decide to upgrade your system before selling your home, don’t expect to get every penny back. Just as a new car depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot, an HVAC system loses value over time. Unless your system is brand new and has never been used, it may not add significantly to your selling price. It will, however, make your home more marketable and more attractive overall. Updated HVAC equipment is one less thing the buyer has to worry about replacing or fixing when they get the keys. You also won’t have to worry about the buyer negotiating for extra money or a replacement before agreeing to buy.

If you’re looking to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment or discuss replacement options, contact the Crown Group Ohio team today!