Seasonal allergies are no one's idea of a good time, most people have at least one. Whether it's the pine pollen, ragweed, certain grasses, or you're not even sure what happens every spring that causes your sinuses to swell, the one good thing about seasonal allergies is that they pass.
There's a special kind of relief that occurs when you realize waking up one morning that the pollen is gone and you can finally stop leaning on antihistamines to get you through the day.
So why, then, do your seasonal allergies sometimes rare up completely out of season? Every now and then, someone with seasonal allergies will find themselves sneezing with the usual cadre of symptoms that normally only occur during a specific allergy season? The reason is hidden allergens.
During the allergy season, spores of pollen blow into your house with the outside air. While your air filter takes care of most of them, some settle like dust, unseen and lying in wait to irritate your sinuses. When these areas are disturbed, you suddenly experience out of season allergy symptoms. Let's take a look at six places where out of season allergens are probably hiding in your home right now.
1) The Air Ducts
In our minds, air ducts are perfectly clean because, after all, nothing passes through them but air. In practice, they are almost always hiding places for both regular dust and hidden allergens.
You see, air isn't completely clean, especially if you haven't changed your HVAC air filter in a long time and any dust that is in the air has a percent chance of 'sticking' to the walls of the ducts as the air flows by. Eventually, these little specks build up and it can get pretty dusty in there.
Allergens also like to hide in air ducts and every time the AC or heater blows, there's a chance old allergens will be blown out and cause you to sneeze.
2) The Curtains
Curtains are a notorious hiding place for dust and pollen because, like air duct walls, their fuzzy texture creates a welcoming place for small airborne particles to catch and settle.
We also clean our curtains very infrequently, far less than we vacuum the carpets or even the furniture. If your curtains collected enough pollen during allergy season, moving them even a little can release a tiny storm of out-of-season allergens.
3) The Mattresses
Unless you have a hypoallergenic cover on your mattress, every mattress in the world slowly collects dust and other airborne particles. After all, it is a huge soft horizontal surface and when you sleep, you roll the settled dust into the mattress where it may embed itself for good.
This is why some people experience the worst allergies at night and in the morning, then find the symptoms clear up after they wake and go to work.
4) Dusty Shelves
Then, of course, there are the places where dust settles in plain sight though we usually fail to notice. High shelves and surfaces in mostly unused rooms are almost always covered in dust. And in that dust are a few camouflaged pollen specks.
This means that when you finally get around to dusting your house, or when dust is disturbed on a normally unnoticed shelf, pollen is released and you may experience out of season allergies.
5) Couches and Armchairs
Like your mattress, soft furniture is another great place for tiny allergens to hide. The pollen and dust particles in the air nestle into the fabric weave of your couch or armchairs and may even be pushed in deeper when you sit.
It's even worse for furniture that is seldom used because when someone does finally sit down, all that dust and pollen poofs up around them back into the air.
6) The Carpet
Finally, no matter how much you vacuum, a few little bits of pollen are probably hiding in your carpet. For some plant species, the structure of pollen is fuzzy on a microscopic level, making it like velcro to anything soft it settles on. This makes it difficult to vacuum away all the hidden pollen in your carpets and often steam cleaning is the only truly effective answer.
Is hidden pollen causing you out of season allergy problems? Every year during allergy season, the soft and hidden places in your home stock back up on pollen spores that will eventually release to cause you sneezing even when the season is over.
The best way to combat this allergen assault is by making sure most of those pollen spores wind up in your air filter instead. You can count on Dust Goblin to catch every spore that makes it to the HVAC intake vent so none will be hiding in your air vents or cycling through your home when you're ready to stop worrying about antihistamines. For more great tips on home air quality, contact us today!