As the weather gets warmer, the grass starts to grow, and flowers bloom, the air we breathe also begins to be affected by an allergen people tend to hate most: pollen. The spring, summer, and fall seasons are when pollen counts can be at the highest levels, as trees, grasses, and weeds release these allergens into the air to fertilize other plants.
This is the time of year where people start to get affected by allergens in the air and experience an itchy nose, watery eyes, coughing, or general irritation of your respiratory system. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies, known as hay fever. While pollen may affect your allergies, did you know that these pesky allergens can also impact air quality?
Pollen’s Effect On Air Quality
Pollen is often small, light and dry, and easily spread by wind, allowing the allergen to become airborne and to be carried over long distances (sometimes miles!). However, not only can wind carry this allergen, but weather conditions can also have an effect on pollen levels. If the air is humid, it’s raining or has rained recently, pollen will become damp and heavy. As a result, it sticks to the ground and doesn’t remain airborne.
Since pollen is commonly airborne, it has an effect on both indoor and outdoor air quality. This is why people tend to experience allergy symptoms both outdoors and indoors. While there are ways to determine pollen levels when stepping outside - like physically seeing the pollen on surfaces or using pollen trackers - it may be difficult to determine how pollen levels may affect the air indoors.
Pollen isn’t limited to your home. Small offices, restaurants, and hotels all deal with pollen or other allergens floating around in the air. While these ultrafine particles may be difficult to see, some things can be done to help clean your spaces and air indoors.
What Can Be Done?
While people tend to know how to take care of themselves when it comes to treating their pollen allergies - such as over-the-counter medications and treatments - there are some things you can do to manage and reduce the amount of pollen inside of your business. This can start by reducing the amount of pollen that is in the air. Below are a few things to consider, including cleaning surfaces or investing in air purification.
Prevent pollen from entering your business – On high pollen count days, pollen floating around in the air may become trapped in a person’s clothing, shoes, and even hair. This allows pollen to be brought in without someone knowing, so keep this in mind with people coming in and out of your business. It’s important to remember to try to keep your windows closed when no one is in the office or business so the wind doesn’t bring any pollen indoors. Instead of opening the windows, use central air conditioning.
Clean surfaces – Like many airborne allergens, pollen falls on surfaces once no longer in the air. Similar to when your car is covered in pollen, if it enters an office, restaurant (especially if outdoor dining is offered), or hotel, surfaces may need to be cleaned. This can be done by simply dusting or using a disinfectant and vacuuming to remove any pollen from the floor before it can recirculate back into the air. Pollen can also become trapped in communal furniture, rugs, or curtains.
Remove pollen from the air – While preventive measures to reduce your exposure outside can help when you know you’re surrounded by this allergen, it’s difficult to know how much pollen is inside your business. In fact, indoor air can have more contaminants than outdoor air as your business doesn’t have the regular wash down from a nice spring rain shower. Using a portable air purifier can help remove the pollen and allergens from the air, ultimately improving your business’s indoor air quality.
Pollen is a ‘larger’ airborne particle, typically between 10,000-100,000 nanometers in size, so many filters with a mechanical filtration system can effectively capture it. The Celios G200 Advanced Air Purifier traps ultrafine particles - including allergens, pollen, mold spores - down to 10 nanometers in size. It can also capture up to 99.99999% of airborne viruses and bacteria. That’s up to 3,000 times more effective than HEPA standards (and can capture particles up to 30 times smaller).
With pollen season coming around every year, there’s no better time to prepare your business for these irritating particles. While dusting and cleaning regularly will help, it’s important to remember that these particles are airborne and may be floating around in the air we breathe. If you’re on the fence, it may be time to start thinking about what particles can be found in the air in your business - and how an air purifier can help!