To sleep, perchance not to swelter nor sneeze
May 31, 2015 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I have no a/c in my bedroom but a lovely crossbreeze. Complication: dust. Do HEPA filters work when windows are open?

I love sleeping under the cool Colorado breezes and hate air-conditioning (don't have one, so it doesn't matter). But even though I vacuum and dust regularly, and ban the kittenbeastens from the Room of Forbidden Comfort, there is still a lot of dust, and I'm allergic. I have a Honeywell HEPA filter, but always thought it was ridiculous to use with open windows. What are my options? I did read this question, yay higher energy bills. :-(

If I leave the windows closed all day, that might help (but the room will be sweltering by the time I'm home). Suggestions on how to stay comfortable and reduce the dust, please? Thanks!
posted by cyndigo to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: On edit: I'd also like not to run the unit at night as it's annoyingly noisy.
posted by cyndigo at 6:00 PM on May 31, 2015

Measure the window openings, see if accidentally a standard furnace hepa filter will cover the opening. If not, then acquire the necessary number. Use clear duct tape to correct the size. Make it so that closing the window on it holds it in place. Then think about a front, and back cover. Any net or lace type fabric will let the air through, and fix aesthetic issues. A spring bar curtain rod will hold an air permeable cover.
posted by Oyéah at 6:26 PM on May 31, 2015

I was told by my allergy doc and NP to keep the window closed as much as possible because of my particular allergy profile. So, this is also a question for your medical allergy team. If you are very allergic to pollen/grass/frass, then no, having the window open and running the HEPA filter will not really help enough. Putting HEPA screens in the window will likely help a lot, because then the pollen and schmutz won't blow around your room as much.

If you are only allergic to the catbeast and standard household dust, then maybe the window open is a good plan for you.

Some things that did/do help me a lot are changing my bed sheets frequently and my pillow cases daily. Dusting more, like every day more, and of course, a daily allergy medication chosen by trial and error. Neti pot every day. I wasn't kidding, changing the pillowcases every day helps so much. That and the neti pot are probably the two biggest helps.

Washing hands and changing clothes after contact with cat also helped a ton. Absolutely do not go to sleep in clothes that the cat rubbed on.

Obviously, I am not a medical professional, and I am not your medical professional. You should seek the assistance of a trusted and trained medical professional.
posted by bilabial at 6:38 PM on May 31, 2015

Windows open or not, filter or not, dust is one of life's unavoidables and you shouldn't have to go through life miserable. Adding singulair (an anti-leukotreine) to my allergy-fighting regimen has improved my quality of life so much it's not even funny. If you're already medicated to the hilt, ignore this, but you didn't mention it so I thought I'd put that out there. Lifestyle changes can only do so much. You can't HEPA filter the world.
posted by phunniemee at 6:59 PM on May 31, 2015

Response by poster: Not to threadsit, but my allergies are annoying but bearable (mostly red eyes and a bit of stuffiness), but I *really* hate the dust, and no matter how often I Dyson there always seems to be a lot of it floating around. (Colorado is windy, and there's a ton of construction in my neighborhood.)

Thanks for the suggestions so far! I have found these window screen replacements, and think I'll give them a try.
posted by cyndigo at 7:04 PM on May 31, 2015

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