Each year, approximately 1 in 5 Americans struggle with seasonal or allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. While outdoor allergens like pollen and bark mulch are a common cause of allergy symptoms, dust, pet dander and dust mites inside your home can also trigger those symptoms. Dealing with indoor allergens may be as simple as improving your home's air quality through better filtration.

What's in Your HVAC System?

Your heating and air conditioning system holds the key to reducing allergens in your home. Most of the air circulated throughout the house has to pass through the system first and the air filter usually serves the airflow's first point of contact.

Your air filter's ability to trap pollen, dust and other allergens relies on its materials and construction, with overall performance measured based on a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). The vast majority of HVAC systems use fiberglass air filters rated below MERV 5, which offers only marginal effectiveness in trapping allergens.

Swapping your ordinary fiberglass filter with a pleated air filter rated at MERV 8 or above can help alleviate most allergy symptoms. Keep in mind that your HVAC air filter has to be changed on a monthly basis for the best filtration performance.

Standalone Air Purification Helps

In addition to replacing your air filter, you can also use an air purifier to reduce airborne allergens on a room-to-room basis. These systems are ideal for use in rooms you spend a large amount of time in, such as the bedroom, living room or study.

Most air purifiers are equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which offers a level of performance that surpasses even most ordinary HVAC air filters. Armed with a HEPA filter, a portable air purifier can remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 1 millionth of an inch in size.

Don't Forget about Ventilation

Ventilation is also important when dealing with allergies, as fresh air can help disperse and remove allergen-laden air from your home. Unfortunately, most homes are sealed airtight for energy efficiency's sake, making it difficult to promote good airflow.

Cracking open a door or window is the quickest and easiest way of letting fresh air into your home. Installing and using exhaust fans not only helps promote good ventilation, but it also prevents excess humidity from making your home feel uncomfortable.

Along with sublingual allergy drops and other effective remedies, air filtration can help get your allergic rhinitis symptoms under control. Visit MyAllergyDrops.com for more information.