It’s fall and allergy season is upon us. For the past several weeks I’ve been feeling the effects first hand, but thankfully I have a brand new refuge in The Greenwich House.
If you’ve been following our build during Season One you’ll understand what I’m talking about. From the ground up I was extra careful to ensure that only non-toxic products were used. From zero-VOC paints and finishes to our Zehnder ERV system that brings fresh air into the home and get’s rid of stale air. The whole house has become a sanctuary from fall allergies.
There are many ways that you can make your own home a refuge during this time of year. Taking these simple steps can help you create an escape from all the pollen, dust, mold, and everything else that is floating around the air this time of year.
Clean, Fresh Air Is The Best Place To Start
You may have heard about the adverse effect that our super sealed homes are having on indoor air quality. The EPA rates our indoor air as 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. With all the built-up chemicals, odors, and stale air/increase CO2 levels especially in bedrooms, it’s no wonder we are getting so sick all the time. This is why it’s so critical to get fresh air into the home, and we’re not talking about opening all the windows either.
ERV systems, or energy recovery ventilation systems, are specifically designed to bring fresh air into the home. They work by filtering incoming air, and passing the air over plates that transfer heat or cool from exhausted air to recover as much energy as possible. A must for energy efficiency in your home.
The other benefit to these systems are the filtering systems. They are able to remove pollen and contaminants before they come into the home. The systems are also often designed to deliver the greatest amount of fresh air to the rooms where it is needed most, like the bedroom ensuring a quality nights rest.
Avoid Hidden Toxins
For the past few years we have learned about the toxic effects that formaldehyde can have on our bodies. This chemical is found in foams and glues in our furniture, it’s in our carpets and synthetic fabrics and it’s a nasty carcinogen in the home environment.
Regulations are starting to catch up and seeking to remove this chemical from our home environments, but until that goes into effect is very important to pay attention to what is in the products you are bringing into your home.
Adhesives in your cabinets and flooring materials can be another source of toxic off-gassing that could be impacting the quality of air in your home. In addition volatile organic compounds or VOCs in paint and finishes can also off-gas for months and years further adding toxins to your indoor air.
Seek to eliminate these toxins from your home before they even come in. Doing so will dramatically improve your indoor air quality helping you to create that refuge you need this time of the year.
Rid Your Home Of Chemical Cleaners
Cleaning products that we use to sanitize our homes can also have harmful chemicals that may be doing more harm than good. Regulations are already making changes around antibacterial products to combat the development of superbugs.
The good news is that for every standard chemical cleaner, there is a natural alternative that is just as effective and won’t leave your lungs burning from the fumes. Seek out these alternatives the next time you go to buy household cleaners. Among the basic ingredients for any cleaner is distilled vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and castile soap.
Achieve That Allergy Refuge
Now that you know what to watch for you can work towards making your home a refuge during the allergy season. I know personally that I am benefiting in ways I never could have imagined at The Greenwich House. The combination of natural cleaners, zero-VOC finishes, and clean fresh air from the Zehnder ERV has made all the difference. I even invite friends that are struggling to stop by for relief. After a cup of coffee, some light conversation, and relaxation they find in a short time they can tell the difference and are feeling much better.
Let us know what you are doing to combat allergy season in your home in the comments.