Allergies In The Car

Dr. Landon Bunderson

PHD, Pollination Ecology

Avoid Some Hitchhikers

Allergens can follow you into your car, but there are ways to combat the problem. 

Seasonal allergies cause millions of people to suffer needlessly. If you are one of these millions, you have probably figured out lots of ways to deal with your symptoms.

During certain times of the year, you may drastically reduce the time you spend out of doors. You may delegate lawn mowing and yard work to a spouse or offspring. You wash yourself carefully when entering the house after being outside. 

You vacuum and clean, wash your bedding, keep windows and doors shut, and use air-conditioning to cool your home. No one is allowed to turn on a fan, for fear that pollen and dust will get blown around. You do anything and everything you can think of to eliminate pollen and other allergens from your life. 

But what about when you get in the car? Even though you keep your windows tightly rolled up and you use your air conditioning to cool the air, you may still find yourself sneezing, wheezing and itching as soon as you enter your vehicle. Why does this happen?

Keep the Allergens out of Your Car

Even if your windows are tightly closed, allergens might be getting in from outside. To limit allergens coming in from outside, make sure to hit the cabin air recirculation button when you run the air conditioning. This will keep your car from continuously drawing in air from outside.

Most cars have a cabin filter that is often located behind the glove box in your car. This filter is designed to clean the air coming in through your vents. If your car has such a filter, make sure to change it before allergy season so that it is working as efficiently as possible.

The Allergens Hiding in Your Car

Common allergens and irritants can linger in your car for long periods of time, meaning that the moment you’re inside, you’re subject to all manner of particles. It’s important to make sure your seats, floors and other surfaces are regularly cleaned.

How To Combat Car Allergens

There is a way to deal with this problem. You can still continue to use your car’s air conditioning, but once you are nearing your destination, (about two miles away) turn your air conditioning off and turn on the vent. Turn the vent on high so that a great deal of air will blow through the vents. Since the air is not as cold, it will dry out any moisture that has gotten trapped in the vents. 

Do this every time you use your car’s air conditioner and you will have vents that are more likely to be free of mold and pollen. Once your car’s vents are free from these allergens, you should notice a difference when you get in your car.

Consider using in-car air ionizers; they can help to remove airborne particulates.

The last thing you can do is keep your car clean.

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