Car windows may not be enough to stop allergens
A car may provide the sanctuary allergy sufferers need to escape the effects of irritants. They can drive away from areas with the highest pollen counts – with their windows up of course – to work, school and places they need to be. Even then though, allergens can still enter vehicles if drivers do not take the necessary precautions to keep them out.
As this blog has reported throughout the last month, an unseasonably warm and dry winter has caused allergy season to strike more aggressively and for a longer period of time than it has in the past. Allergy sufferers have tried to avoid allergens that occur naturally in the environment by remaining indoors and keeping their windows closed.
Those that drive through areas with high allergen counts could still be in danger though. According to car experts, a vehicle's cabin air filter could become clogged with foreign substances, allowing dust, pollen and other irritants to enter the car through air vents.
"When the cabin air filter remains unchanged for long periods of time, the dust and dirt that accumulate are blown back into the interior of the car when the A/C or heating is turned on," Chuck Kerrigan, an executive with an air filter company, said in a press release.
Kerrigan recommends that car owners change their cabin air filters every 12,000 miles or check their owner's manual to determine the manufacturer's recommendation, although they should probably do so more often when there are more irritants in the air.
This time of year may be the best time to change air filters, given the record pollen counts observed in Atlanta and elsewhere just last month. Consumers can also supplement these filters with air purifiers built specifically to keep the environment inside a car irritant-free.