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While Central Texas is beloved for many amazing characteristics (live music, barbecue, wildflowers, the list goes on…), allergies do not make the list! Our year-round mild climate and high humidity create an environment where ragweed, pollen, and mold thrive. During winter months when freezing temperatures drive out allergens across most of the country, cedar pollen thrives in and around Austin. This culminates in our bad reputation as one of the 50 worst cities in the country for allergies.

Before you work yourself into an allergy-induced frenzy, don’t fret. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there are lots of things you can do to enhance your livability. For starters, we recommend seeing an allergist to identify what truly ails you. From there, we encourage everyone to ensure your home has the highest air quality possible, courtesy of clean air filters.

In addition to improving the air quality, changing your air filters will improve the efficiency and longevity of your central heating and cooling system. A quick word to the wise for new homeowners: Do not assume that your air filters are clean when you move into a new, especially new construction home! Although we thoroughly evaluate the heating and cooling system during the home inspection process, a lot can change during the construction and move-in process. Once you unpack, it’s a great idea to check those filters to ensure you are breathing the best.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Identify the correct size. Disposable filters are labeled with a cardboard frame that indicates size. If you filters don’t indicate size, whip out your measuring tape to determine the length, width and thickness of your filters. Once you know your numbers, it’s time to go shopping at your local hardware store!
  • Strategically place the filter. Most filters come printed with an arrow to indicate airflow. The arrow should point toward the furnace, in the direction of the air flow. Proper installation ensures your unit works efficiently to pull the air through the filter, leaving contaminants like those pesky allergens behind.
  • Clean the vents. After you’ve secured your new filters in place, cap off your home maintenance quest with a quick vacuum or dusting to remove external particulates from your air filter. Once you see it sparkling clean, you won’t want to let it get dirty agan!
  • Make a habit of replacing your home’s air filters every four-to-six weeks. You’ll notice an improvement in your energy consumption, and just might get a little relief from those allergy symptoms!

As we continue to spend more time at home, it’s great to cherish and take care of the spaces we love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @BarfieldHomeInspection for more home maintenance tips from the company that’s been telling it like it is since 2003. Stay safe and healthy!

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