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The dreaded pollen season

10 November 2015
The dreaded pollen season The dreaded pollen season Blog

Many people suffer from pollen allergy – it’s suggested one third of the population suffers from Seasonal Allergic Rhino Conjunctivitis – more commonly known as hay fever.  There are numerous plants that create hay fever symptoms and most are blown around the country by the wind.

Pollen is in the air all year round
The worst months in New Zealand are September through February – although there are pollens in the air all year around.   Many think the worst offenders are Pine trees but the biggest problem is in fact created by the ubiquitous perennial ryegrass common on most farmland (that’s probably why it’s known as hay fever).  Download the very handy and interesting Pollen Calendar here which has been produced by Allergy New Zealand. They also provide many more interesting facts and good advice.

Minimise exposure to pollens
If maintaining a normal life it’s very difficult to avoid exposure to pollens. In many countries people wear face masks when outside to filter their breathing.  Pollens manage to infiltrate into homes and workplaces through vents, doors and windows that are left open for the ventilation required for a healthy building.  To avoid regularly opening windows you can install a ventilation system. There are many to choose from and all are likely to have a filter that will stop pollen being drawn into the building along with the fresh air. Pollen grains are typically 15 to 50 millionths of a metre across – about the same width as a human hair.

G4 filters are the industry standard
The Unovent Home Ventilation System uses a G4 filter. The G4 is the industry standard and typical in many air conditioning systems. They are highly effective at filtering most unwanted particles down to 10 um (Micron). This includes cement dust, hair spray, moulds, etc. Ceiling insulation is very large particles and no problem at all for the filters.

It is possible to purchase higher standard filters from most ventilation system suppliers - but it is not required. Why waste the money on ridiculously pure air indoors if it becomes spoiled when opening doors or if you intend to ever venture outside. The aim is to have a sufficiently ventilated and healthy building that solves most people’s problems. When using the air-conditioning in your car – it will likely have a G4 filter to stop pollens too.

The expected warmer weather results in longer flowering and pollen seasons which will contribute to increased hay fever in the future. Now is the time to install a positive pressure home ventilation system to reduce the exposure to the pollens which can cause sneezing, wheezing and runny noses.