Spring is here! And in Atlanta, spring’s arrival means that everything we own is covered in yellow-green pollen. The pollen count on Tuesday was over 9,600 (an all-time record). Unfortunately, many of us end up with a high pollen count inside our homes. If you are an allergy sufferer, it’s time to head for the medicine cabinet. Are there ways to keep the pollen outside? The answer is yes, but it may take some work.
The fact to remember is that the actual allergens that cause so many respiratory problems are not visible to the naked eye. So if you actually have the yellow-green pollen in your home, the other stuff is there too. When you’re talking about microns, it doesn’t take a giant opening to get in.
First, check to make sure that the weather stripping in your doors and windows stays in full contact at all points. Gaps here are easy to spot by looking for light creeping in the gaps during the daytime. Weather stripping in the door that does not come into full contact with the door can be replaced with new oversized weather stripping. Weather stripping can also be added to the top and bottom sashes of the windows in areas where it is needed.
Next, check to make sure your duct connections don’t look like the ones in the photos, especially if the system is located in the attic. Duct leaks on the return air side will draw pollen directly into the system to be redistributed throughout the house. A sealed duct system not only improves indoor air quality, but also saves you money and increases the comfort levels in your home.
Finally, understand that there are hidden air leaks all over your house. The best way to find them is to have a blower door test performed. A blower door test uses a fan mounted in an exterior door that draws the air out of the house. Anywhere there is an air leak, air will come pouring in and can be found. If it can be found, it can be sealed. After which, you can breathe easy.
If you have any questions for me, you can add them in the comments or email me at JonL@theNRGguy.com or check out another series I wrote on this topic. Remember, "Don’t throw money at your problems, throw knowledge, it’s a lot cheaper."