Three Energy-Efficient Tips Heading into Spring Allergy Season

March 07, 2018

Spring is approaching fast! For many, its arrival means spending more time outside, whether it be in the garden, at sporting events, or on hiking trails. Unfortunately, spring’s arrival also means the return of seasonal allergies. Pollen counts and humidity levels will be on the rise which can increase mold growth and dust mites. For dog-owners, springtime means that your furry friend will be shedding its winter coat, which means dander will be spread throughout your home. All of these factors can make the season especially tough for folks with allergies.

As we gear up for spring, the Sponsors of Mass Save® – National Grid, Unitil, Cape Light Compact, and Eversource – are here to provide you with some energy-efficient solutions that may help improve the quality of life for those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies.

1. Improve indoor air quality with a room air cleaner.
The EPA estimates that the indoor concentrations of some pollutants are often 2-5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. It’s no wonder that so many of us go to open a window when we are in need of some “fresh air.” Installing a room air cleaner is an easy way to improve indoor air quality. A room air cleaner filters the air, removing allergens, such as dust particles, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores, and even reducing unpleasant odors, making it a useful tool for anyone with bad allergies.

Although a room air cleaner makes a great addition to your home, it can be fairly energy-intensive. A typical room air cleaner that operates non-stop uses around 60 percent more energy than a new refrigerator— despite being a fraction of the size! When looking to purchase a room air cleaner, always check for the blue ENERGY STAR label. An ENERGY STAR certified room air cleaner is more energy-efficient, which means you could save up to $250 in energy costs over the lifetime of the unit. It essentially pays for itself! Not to mention, the Sponsors of Mass Save offer a $40 rebate to eligible customers with the purchase of an ENERGY STAR certified room air cleaner, giving both your allergies and your wallet some well-deserved relief.

2. Remove excess moisture with a dehumidifier.
Especially if you live near the coast, dehumidifiers are critical for the warmer months in the Commonwealth. Humidity is not only uncomfortable, it can also lead to mold build-up inside your home, which can leave behind a musty or rotting smell. By reducing excess moisture, a dehumidifier can create a more comfortable, healthier home, while also decreasing the potential for mold, mildew, and corrosion that can damage your home’s infrastructure.

Perhaps you already have a dehumidifier, but maybe it’s outdated and inefficient. The Sponsors of Mass Save hold statewide dehumidifier turn-in events for eligible customers to recycle their old units. Mass Save will not only make sure your old dehumidifier is responsibly recycled, but they’ll also provide a $30 rebate to eligible customers who participate! On top of that, the Sponsors of Mass Save offer a $30 rebate for those who purchase a new ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier. If you haven’t participated in these rebate programs yet, consider them this Spring before the humidity and allergies really kick in.

3. Reduce dust mites and pollen through laundry practices.
Not only our clothes, but our towels, blankets, sheets, and many other fabrics are vehicles for allergens. Pollen, dust mites, and pet dander cling to these materials. If they aren’t properly cleaned, it can worsen the situation for allergy sufferers.

If you or a loved one is especially allergic to dust mites, thoroughly washing and drying all those fabrics is the best bet for reducing these allergens. Running loads of laundry through the washing machine is energy and water-intensive however, and if you still use a top-loader model that is not ENERGY STAR certified, you are probably wasting a lot more water and energy than you would be otherwise. ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers use around 25 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than non-certified models. Similarly, ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryers use 20 percent less energy than their non-certified counterparts.

If you haven’t already, consider signing up for the No-Cost Home Energy Assessment to see if you are eligible for a rebate on a new, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer. If your current model is old and inefficient, you may qualify for this $350 rebate. Plus, if you’re in the market for a new, energy-efficient clothes dryer, you can get a $50 rebate from the Sponsors of Mass Save on your purchase of an ENERGY STAR certified model.

With springtime approaching, the Sponsors of Mass Save want everyone to be able to enjoy the perks of this season – the warmer weather, the longer days, and the more colorful landscapes. Unfortunately, with allergies affecting about 50 million Americans and being the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., many of us must take additional steps to bring comfort and enjoyment. With these three tips, we hope to make the allergy season more bearable for your household. To get started on finding these energy-efficient products that can help support a healthier home, check out our store finder. Plus, be sure to follow us on Facebook for other helpful, energy-efficient tips throughout the season!

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