How to Avoid Pollen Health Effects

dandelion-pollen

It’s that time of year when you walk outside and your car is covered by yellow dust. Also that time of year when you’re outside for 30 seconds and you start sneezing (not fun, is it?)

Pollen negatively affects human health in a variety of ways. When the pollen count is high, many experience:

  • Runny and/or stuffy nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma.

These symptoms could be contributed to a pollen allergy, typically referred to as hay fever.

Weeds, grasses, trees, and some shrubs are the common culprits for pollen. Weeds have commonly been determined to be the most productive of pollen producers and are identified as the plant that causes the most allergies.

How does pollen cause my symptoms?

When pollen is inhaled through the nose and throat, the body experiences an immune response that results in hay fever, because it attaches to the cells and creates histamine. It is this releasing of histamine that causes the symptoms of pollen allergy.

How can I avoid pollen?

The most overlooked way to avoid pollen is a simple change of your home air filter. Air filters are proven to reduce many of the common airborne contaminants, such as pollen, from the air you breathe. In addition to changing your air filter on a regular basis, here are some other things you can do to avoid pollen this spring:

  1. Stay indoors, being sure to keep windows closed during high pollen counts
  2. Wash hair before going to bed at night to avoid sleeping in pollen that accumulated in the air during the day
  3. Make sure outdoor pets are bathed before coming inside. This can prohibit the distribution of pollen on furniture and carpets
  4. Consider the use of an air purifier in your home for more protection from pollen and other contaminants such as dust mites and viruses

*Tips taken from ehow.com*

This spring, you don’t have to let pollen get the best of you. By regularly replacing the air filters around the home and being more mindful of local pollen counts, you can find yourself winning the battle against pollen.

Spring Swimming Pool Opening Tips and Checklist

pool opening tips

With spring right around the corner, it is never too early to start thinking about reopening your swimming pool for the season.  With temperatures rising and kids getting tired of being cooped up inside, why not focus on what’s to come…. swimming, frolicking and general pool merriment!  This process does not have to be a huge hassle with a little preparation and time management.   If you are sure that winter cold weather is behind you and temperatures seem to be stable, usually in the 70’s as a rule of thumb, then the time to reopen the pool has arrived!

Here are some basic steps to follow:

  • Clear debris from OUTSIDE of the pool.  This is often overlooked, but can be a real time saver in the long run.  Make sure to clean up any leaves, branches, dirt and other debris in the surrounding pool area that would later be tracked into the water.
  • Remove the cover.  Clear all debris and standing water from the top of your cover to avoid a big mess later when preparing the cover for storage. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cover removal and use all appropriate tooling as needed.
  • Add water to appropriate operating level for your pool.
  • Change plugs and check skimmer baskets/ basket strainers for damage.  Make sure to remove all of your winter plugs and parts that were installed to prevent freeze damage.  Replace with your in-season plugs and parts.
  • Clean debris from pool bottom.   Add a chemical clarifier to help breakdown the debris. Start by raking out the largest debris, and then use your vacuuming system for a thorough cleaning. Don’t forget to brush the pool walls as well. Visit Acepools.com to find a variety of cleaning systems.
  • Start the pump and filter system.  Follow instructions carefully.  Check filters for damage and water leaks at connections. Backwash your filter if needed. Replace filters as necessary.
  • Shock, test and stabilize the water. Chemically shock your water, then 24 hours later, test it. Once desired chemical levels are achieved, don’t forget to stabilize or condition your water to prevent rapid loss of chlorine due to UV rays.  Throughout the season, make sure to use a high quality algaecide to kill any present algae and to prevent it from forming.
  • Take inventory and replace needed items.  Now that your pool water is ready, go ahead and check other pool parts such as lighting, steps and ladders, pool toys, and all other equipment and maintenance items.  Repair and replace as needed.
  • Set-up your outdoor sanctuary. Clean and set-up your outdoor furniture, table and chairs, tiki torches and barbecue grill. 

Now all you have to do is wait for the truly warm weather to arrive so that you can start enjoying your backyard oasis!  Please visit Acepools.com, part of the Filters Fast family, for all of your swimming pool needs.

What Happens if I Don’t Change My Air Filter?

goodbadfiltersIf you are like most homeowners, you know that you are supposed to change your air filters about every 3 months.  If you are like me, occasionally, that does not happen!  It’s very easy to overlook this home maintenance task when you are not face to face with the filters every day.

So what’s the big deal?  Do I REALLY need to change them that frequently?  In an effort to answer this, let’s take a look at what happens if you do not.

System Inefficiency & Failure:

When your air filter becomes dirty and clogged with debris, air cannot flow through properly.  This is the number one reason for system inefficiency and failure. The added strain on the fan motor can cause it to overheat and eventually fail to operate. In the mean time, stressing the system forces more energy consumption leading to higher electricity costs and utility bills.

Poor Air Quality:

Today’s air filters are specially designed to remove many harmful contaminates from indoor air.  Allowing your air filters to become dirty decreases contaminate catching efficiency of the filter media. Depending on the MERV rating, contaminates that are removed include:

  • Lint and Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Auto Emissions
  • Smoke
  • Bacteria

Dirty House:

Dirt, dust and debris from dirty air filters cause heating and air conditioning system and air ducts to become dirty faster.  This dirt and dust in turn, will be re-circulated into your home out of the ventilation systems causing a much dustier living space.

Bad for the Environment:

Dirty air filters increase your carbon footprint because they force the system to work harder using more energy.

As you can see there are legitimate reasons why it is necessary to replace your furnace and air filters on a regular basis.  Improving indoor air quality by removing harmful contaminates, keeping your house clean longer, saving money on high utility bills and decreasing your carbon footprint are all good reasons to make sure you replace your filters.  Most require either monthly changes or every 3 months.  This will depend on the type of filter you use.  Follow the manufacturer guidelines.

You can visit FiltersFast.com to learn more about air filter MERV ratings, which will help you determine which filters to use, as well as find all standard and custom sized filters and a wide variety of brands to choose from.