Air Ducts, Air Quality, and the Effect On Allergies

When dealing with allergies and other chronic health conditions, oftentimes it’s hard to tell which symptom is coming from what. This is why finding our triggers can be so difficult at times, yet it’s such an important part of our journey, especially with something like allergies.

Since I’ve dealt with allergies and illness for most of my life, I tend to usually think something is going on with me. Sometimes, I forget to look to the environment and what is going on around me. Just recently, I was reminded of this and why it’s important to look at the picture from every angle and consider everything going on.

Experiencing an increase in allergy symptoms

This year, I’ve been dealing with more skin flares and other allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, itchy eyes (and even allergic conjunctivitis for the first time), coughing, sneezing, the whole nine yards! Of course, this whole time, I’ve mostly been thinking I must have developed a new allergy and that was why. But I forgot to consider everything – in this case, my environment.

A couple weeks ago, one of my family members had noticed a weird smell in our living room, that seemed to be coming from our vents. Since I don’t spend much time in that specific room, I didn’t notice it at first when I walked by.

However, over the past few days, it had gotten worse, and even I started noticing it. It smelled somewhat like a high concentration of dust coming from the vents. Since there could be several reasons for this, we decided to take it step by step. We had maintenance come out for our air conditioner and furnace, first, to get it looked at and cleaned, as we hadn’t done that in a while. Everything turned out to be okay there, and they got it cleaned up.

How the air ducts in my house were affecting my allergies

The next step was looking at the air ducts. While talking about it, we realized we hadn’t had our air ducts cleaned in the time we have lived in this house, which is quite a while now. Speaking to the maintenance guy, he also pointed to that and figured that could be the cause. He also asked if anyone in the house has been suffering from allergies, and of course I said yes immediately.

Doing research on air ducts and cleaning, I came across various articles and tons of information about how air ducts needing cleaning could be causing more symptoms for certain individuals, such as runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, etc. Yep, it all matched up for me.

We called a company to come out and do an inspection, so we could get them cleaned. And I have to say, although it was a bigger job and took more time and money, my allergy symptoms have been improving. Although this was quite recent and I can’t say that it is the cause 100%, my intuition seems to think so.

Remembering the role of our environment on allergies

This reminded me that while it’s important to look within our own selves and at our own bodies, the environment we are in is just as important. You would think that would be easy to keep in mind, especially when dealing with environmental allergies.

However, sometimes, we have so much going on with our bodies, and between so many different chronic health conditions and symptoms, we tend to miss what’s right in front of our face – quite literally!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.