Mornings are a great time of day to sit and watch the sun come up while drinking a cup of great-tasting coffee. The birds are singing, and the beautiful sunrise is constantly changing the colors of the landscape. It seems like everything in the world is just right at that moment. What could go wrong?

Ahchoo! Ahchoo! Your allergies begin kicking in. Early to mid-morning is also the worst time of day for those that suffer from allergies since the pollen and spore count is highest.

If it seems like allergies keep getting worse each year, that’s because pollen levels increase each year. Scientists explain the depletion of the ozone layer has increased carbon dioxide levels, which promotes plant growth making pollens larger and more powerful.

Maybe you are lucky and it’s the other 15% or so of those around you that suffer. You like sleeping with a window open so you can smell those beautiful flowering trees as you bring in “fresh air”.

That nice “fresh air” is 2 to 5 times more polluted than indoor air and it can put allergy sufferers in your home on a quick path to becoming miserable. A large proportion of that “fresh” outdoor air is full of dust and pollens. Allergy sufferers need to keep those doors and windows closed, but you like fresh air. You both have your needs!

So, what are the solutions? Indoor air quality relies on fresh air to remove harmful chemical pollutants. Since pollens easily travel through window screens, the solution is to bring in fresh air through a duct and filter it with a quality air filtration system that removes 92% or more of air impurities.

Outside fresh air can be brought directly into the return duct or better yet it can be brought in through an Energy Recovery Ventilation system (ERV), which saves energy as it tempers the air. ERVs allow approximately the same amount of air to enter your home as they expel back outside.

Cleaner air requires operating the thermostat in automatic mode. The thermostat on mode allows the air to get “scrubbed” as it continuously goes through the air filter. Temperatures are also more even. The energy cost will be lower if you have a variable-speed furnace.

At John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical, “we practice what we preach” and have a fresh air makeup unit and Trane CleanEffects air filtration systems that remove 99.97% of the impurities. We use AirScrubbers to kill germs and also humidify the air to the proper range that promotes health. Healthy air reduces absenteeism from illness. The health of John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s team is always a priority.

Be aware that despite what TV commercials claim, the remote air filters that sit on desks do very little to purify room air, since only a small amount of air passes through them. They are slightly better than nothing.

Upgrading from a fiberglass filter to a pleated filter that removes 42% of impurities is also better than nothing, but the best solution is air filters that scrub large volumes of air and remove 92% or more of the impurities.

Approximately 33,000 people in Lincoln have allergies that can be documented. Many more have allergies and do not realize it. They think they are just run down or stressed. Energy levels are often very low. Even if you do not have allergies, you can feel better by improving your air quality.

Allergen doctors may recommend special air filter systems to help with severe allergies, and there could be health insurance available. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter system will remove up to 99.98% of contaminates. These filters stop the pollens in the filters where they belong, instead of lungs.

Another health improvement is to increase the airflow to your bedroom since a large portion of your time is spent there. It makes sense to have 6 to 8 air exchanges per hour. You will wake up more refreshed.

There are great technological advancements to improve our lives. Through education, we have learned one of the best-recognized methods to reduce the effects of allergies is to avoid allergens like dust or pollens.

In this busy world, it’s our responsibility to take time to improve our health. We are a product of how we live our lives. Although we can’t see the majority of pollens, they are growing larger every day and need to be avoided more than ever. You can improve your health. It’s up to you!

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