About 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, microscopic creatures that flourish in our homes. And though you will never see them, they can have a serious impact on your indoor air quality. Here’s why it’s important to keep them under control.
What Is a Dust Mite?
The dust mite is an insect that infests carpets, furniture and bedding, preferring moist conditions and temperatures of around 70 degrees F. They tend to be present in greater numbers in the summer.
Dust mites feed on the dead skin flakes of humans and pets — which they can find in abundance in our beds, in upholstered furniture and in carpets. Dust mites die and decay and their body parts and feces become part of what we refer to as “dust,” which also includes skin and hair flakes, textile fibers and other decaying insect particles.
Controlling Dust Mites
Symptoms of a dust mite allergy are similar to those of other allergies, including runny, itchy eyes and nose, as well as sneezing. The best way to control allergic reactions is to control dust mites at the source.
Some ways to control dust mites:
- Wash bedding once a week in water at least 130 degrees F.
- Cover your pillows, mattresses, and box springs in airtight, plastic dust-mite covers.
- Use pillows with polyester fibers instead of feathers.
- Clean floors with a damp cloth.
- Vacuum regularly with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate) air filter.
- Correct moist conditions in the home. Dust mites love high humidity. Use a dehumidifier, if need be.
- Periodically use a dust mite eliminator product on fabric and carpets. Anti-allergen sprays may also be effective (when sprayed on dust mite sites) in inhibiting allergic responses.
- Install a good quality HVAC filter. A filter rated MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 8-12 will help eliminate airborne particles, including pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mite and other decaying insect particles.
- Install an air cleaner, either whole-house or portable.
For more advice on controlling dust mites, contact Davis Air Conditioning. We’ve served Southwest Oklahoma since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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