Is your indoor air quality good enough

Will Your New Home Make You Sick?

When families move into their Dallas dream home, they usually have high hopes of creating a healthy and happy environment. Most don’t expect misfortunes from the house itself. But a growing number of residents are reporting health problems from the materials and systems used in their homes.

Most house-related health problems fall into two categories. “Sick building syndrome” is noticeable within a short time of entering a building. Your eyes may water, your nose run and you could feel spacy and experience a rash or throat irritation. These symptoms disappear soon after leaving a building.

More dangerous, are building-associated illnesses. These environmental hazards may go unnoticed for years, until long after the damage is done. More serious, infants and children are more susceptible to symptoms from indoor air quality than adults.

Here are a few short and long-term dangers you should be aware of before buying that new house.

Indoor Pollution

People usually think of pollution as what goes on outside. But a whole world of pollutants lurk inside as well. Mold, dust mites and other microbes proliferate in rugs and on walls. These can be especially problematic for people with asthma or other breathing problems. Small leaks in basements, attics, pipes and closets could be preparing the perfect breeding ground for mold.

According to the report from a Surgeon General’s Workshop on Healthy Indoor Environment, many modern building practices cause mold growth. Construction materials such as gypsum, synthetic wood products and vinyl siding, coupled with inadequate ventilation and drainage, promote mold growth by trapping it behind siding.

Formaldehyde can cause coughing, scratchy eyes, sore throats and nose bleeds. This smelly yet colorless gas is found in cabinets, walls, furniture and especially in new carpet.

Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation has been a darling of green builders. Yet consumer groups are getting progressively more concerned about unwanted effects as its popularity increases.

When workers mix the two components that make spray foam, then apply it to ceilings and walls with a spray gun, the product instructions warn them to wear haz-mat suits. Yet the final cured product is classified as inert, according to manufacturers. Even if this is so, many factors can affect curing time. How do you know your spray foam has reached the inert stage? Some home buyers and construction workers worry about entering the premises too soon – sans haz-mat suit – after spraying.

Outgassing is another issue with foam insulation. The Environmental Protection Agency says that the effects of outgassing of chemicals in spray foam in not yet understood and requires more research.


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that rises from the earth, through cracks in walls and floors, and into residents’ lungs. Radon exposure is the second biggest cause of lung cancer in the U.S. While a distant runner-up after cigarettes, radon still manages to cause between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Radon levels vary around Dallas. Concerned consumers can buy a do-it-yourself kit to test the radon level in their home, or call the National Radon Hotline at (800) SOS-RADON for more information.

Chinese Drywall

Chinese drywall is likeliest to be found in homes built between 2001 and 2008. This building material contains the sulfurous gases carbonyl sulfide, carbon disulfide and hydrogen sulfide. Since heat and humidity activate these gases, most people who suffer the ill effects of Chinese drywall live in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia and Dallas, Texas.

Have you noticed a sulfurous smell coming from your walls? Those rotten egg-scented fumes can cause dizziness, nausea, nosebleed, body aches, rashes, sinus troubles and headaches. You may also notice strange failures in your house of air conditioning or refrigerator coils, lightbulbs, and displays on TV sets, microwaves, smoke detectors, computers and DVD players. Metal may deteriorate and silver become tarnished. Chinese drywall can jeopardize the lives of pets.

Dirty Ducts

Traces of water left by air conditioning are the perfect places for bacteria and mold to proliferate. Residents may develop respiratory issues, including allergies, coughing, headaches and asthma. The solution? Professional air duct cleaning every other year.

Test Your Air Quality

What’s more important than the health of your family? Probably nothing. Which is why home air quality tests are a sound investment. An annual inspection by a trained professional can monitor your radon levels, assess your HVAC system, warn you of potential problems and greatly improve your family’s safety and peace of mind.

20 ways to stay cool with Lex Air Conditioning services in Dallas

20 Ways to Stay Cool in Dallas-Fort Worth This Summer

Even though we just experienced Labor Day, Dallas will continue with the heat for the months to come. Beat the heat with these 20 ways to stay cool in the DFW area. From swimming holes to museums to icy cold desserts, there’s a way for you to enjoy the end of summer and the transition into fall without sweating buckets.


1. Wake-boarding at the Hydrous Wake Park

Summer Wakeboarding Dallas


The Hydrous Wake Park offers both cable water-skiing and wake-boarding to those brave participants willing to give it a go. Apparently, with the Hydrous Park system, riding is relatively easy. Enjoy the wake of the lake beneath your skis as you slalom past fallen riders!


2. Water Sliding at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Summer Waterslide in Dallas

Make it a day of family fun at Hurricane Harbor in Six Flags. With water rides of all kinds, there’s something sure to please everyone. Let the kids roam free on the slides while the parents enjoy floating around the lazy river. Or maybe you’re interested in a thrill, check out the Dive Bomber slide that plummets you down seven stories. Watch out for the trapdoor that opens right above the slide!



3. Splashing in the Klyde Warren Park Fountains

Warren Park Summer Dallas

Try the Klyde Warren Park for a free way to chill out! Splash around in the fountains located in the Children’s Park. When you’re finished cooling off in the fountains, the park offers Food Trucks and Free Music Thursdays.




4. Diving into Burger’s Lake

Burger Lake Summer Dallas

Swing into Burger’s Lake on their trapeze or dive off of one of their six diving boards. This spring-fed lake is a perfect way to cool off in the DFW area this year. With inner tubes for rent, a 20-foot slide and beautiful sandy beaches to sun yourself on, Burger’s Lake is a great place for the whole family to experience.


5. Strolling through the Fort Worth Water Gardens

Water Gardens in Summer, Dallas

The Water Gardens in Fort Worth are truly breathtaking. Designed by Phillip Johnson in 1974, the Water Gardens offer an oasis in the dry Great Plains of Texas. Three unqiue pools are featured in this park: the aerating pool, the quiet pool and the active pool. Feel the cool mist of falling water while you dip you feet into the pools.




6. Relaxing at the Knights of Columbus Outdoor Pool


For a more traditional experience, head to the Knights of Columbus Outdoor Pool. Unfortunately you are required to have a membership to swim, but members are allowed to bring guests. Make friends with a member for a relaxing swim at the KC pool!




7. Kayaking on White Rock Lake

Kayaking in the Summer Dallas

Rent a kayak, or take your own out on White Rock Lake. Since high-powered motorboats are forbidden on White Rock Lake, it’s a safe paradise for kayaking. Relish in the natural world while viewing the ecosystem of the lake!





8.Eating a Cool Treat at La Original Michoacana

Ice Cream Summer Dallas

Wanting to cool down with a sweet treat?! Then La Original Michoacana is the place for you. This Mexican paleteria offers a variety of exotic and traditional ice cream flavors including pine nut, tequila-lime and avocado. With a slightly different texture from US ice cream, you’re sure to love the array of flavors they boast.




9. Chugging a cold beer at Lakewood Brewing Company

Chug a cold beer in Dallas this summer









10. Devouring Popsicles at Steel City Pops

Popsicles in Dallas Summer

Steel City Pops offers gourmet, all natural popsicles to consumers in both Dallas and Fort Worth. Originally from Birmingham, this Pop Shop doles out a one-of-a-kind popsicle experience with flavors like maple bacon, pineapple-jalapeno, orange mint green tea, and mojito.






11. Sipping on a Marg at Gloria’s

Margaritas to Stay Cool in Dallas Summer

I know you were expecting this… Of course margaritas were going to be included on this list! With multiple locations across Texas and renowned as one of the best margarita’s in Dallas, Gloria’s is the place to go for a icy cold margarita sure to drown all your sorrows!






Museum Go-ers

12.Wandering through the Eight Track Museum

Listening to music to stay cool in Dallas Summer

Escape Dallas’ hot summer days by entering into the eclectic Eight Track Museum. Learn about the history and technology of eight tracks and view some of the rarest eight tracks still around. Don’t forget to make your appointment to view Bucks Burnett museum of eight tracks and check out their gift shop.




13. Contemplating Art in the Dallas Museum of Art

Cool this Summer Dallas Museum of Art

This summer the DMA has free general admission and free activities! With all of their exquisite pieces of art, from Renaissance Prints to Modernism art, you can escape the summer heat for countless hours exploring the DMA.




14. Watching Sharks at the Dallas World Aquarium

Dallas World Aquarium Summer Dallas

Experience the wonders of a water world without actually getting into the water at the Dallas World Aquarium. This aquarium also includes exhibits on terrestrial animals such as birds and monkeys. Start by getting the family pumped for the experience by watching one of their many animal cams. And, don’t miss the shark feedings that take place twice a day!



15. Watching Shows at Winspear Opera House

Dallas Summer Winspear Opera House

Cool down and catch the matinée of the latest show at the Winspear Opera House. Showing musicals, concerts and operas throughout the year, the Winspear Opera House is the best place to become cool and cultured! They also offer tours to view one of America’s finest opera houses.



16. Engaging minds at the Perot Museum of Science and Nature


The building of the Perot Museum is itself an exhibit. A sustainable building, the Perot Museum houses 13 exhibits that is sure to take most of the day to see! Take advantage of the 3D educational movies watched in their state of the art theater. The family is sure to enjoy their Sleepover Program too.



Cool Breezers

17. Attempting Grabs at Skyline Trapeze

Skyline Trapeze Dallas Summer

Feel the wind in your hair with the Skyline Trapeze school of aerial arts! Dallas’ first trapeze rig offers many circus art activities. Each class lasts 2 hours and instructors teach students the basics of trapeze and other more advanced tricks.







18. Catching Air at the Flight Deck Trampoline Park

Flight Deck Trampoline Park Dallas Summer

Bounce along through Flight Deck’s court of connected trampolines catching air and having fun! Play some high quality dodgeball or just jump into their massive foam pit. They also offer aerobics classes to adults and other classes for kids.




19. Pedaling through Town with Buzz Bike

Buzz Bike Tours Dallas Summer

Load up your cooler with some ice and cool brews for a Buzz Bike tour of Dallas! Pedal through one of their four routes while gulping down your BYOB drinks. Or do some bar hopping around town. Routes take you through the Arts District, Downtown, Uptown, or Victory Plaza.




20. Observing the Big D from the Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower Dallas Summer

Get above it all on top of the Reunion Tower! At 561 feet tall, you can view the entirety of the city from above, observing as far as 32 miles. Head up to the Five Sixty Restaurant to enjoy a meal while overlooking the expansive city of Dallas.

But the best solution of all is a special discount on A/C repairs and service from Lex Air.

Stay Cool Dallas!


Heat waves in Dallas may call for central ac repair

How Hot is Dallas, TX Getting?

Heat Wave Hits Dallas, Expect it to Continue

On August 8, 2015 Dallas broke a record for the longest period of triple digit heat since 2013.

But how hot will it get? That depends on where you live. On average, the United States has warmed 1.2 degrees since 1984, according to analysis of the National Climatic Data Center. The Southwest and Northeast are heating up the fastest. Residents of New Mexico are experiencing summer highs of about 3.4 degrees higher than 1984. North-easterners have gained about 2.5 degrees in the same time period.

Here in Texas, average summer temperatures have risen about 2.8 degrees since 1984. Fort Worth ranked 36 on USA Today’s 2015 list of hottest American cities, with an average summer temperature of 83.5 degrees. Dallas came in 25th with an average summer temperature of 85.1.

How Hot Will Dallas Get?

But researchers predict that we’ll have about 150 sunny, 90-plus degree days annually by 2100.
Dryness drives the Southwest’s warming trend. The lack of water makes both air and ground temperatures heat up faster. Heat and drought feed off each other, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Only one state in the continental U.S. hasn’t gotten warmer since 1984: North Dakota. Go figure!

Texas’ increasing heat will wallop residents with more cases of heat-related health issues, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and higher electricity bills. Increased migration to Dallas may also strain the health system. Do those people from mountain states and the Northeast understand what they’re in for?

Thank goodness for air conditioning. Prepare your home for this warming trend by getting an annual AC check-up. Our certified technicians will test your system to make sure it’s running correctly and efficiently. This saves you money, and gets you ready to face that 150-day streak of temperatures in the upper 90s.

Electric Air Handler And Heat Pump

Should You Pair Your Electric Air Handler with a Heat Pump?

Spring and early summer, are a great time to look back at your winter heating costs, now that you can fully compare 2015’s winter with previous years. It’s also a great time to consider furnace improvements and even replacement.

In most of the U.S., gas is king as far as heating a home goes. However, not all were built with gas service to each house. In these cases an air handler with an electric heat kit is used in heating mode. Electricity powers the heat, which is more costly than running a gas furnace which uses natural gas as fuel.

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Furnace Size For Your Home

Is Your Furnace Sized Properly to Your Home?

The process of sizing your home’s furnace is like buying clothes on the Internet. While “heaters have to be the right size…they’re more like socks than shoes: close is usually good enough.”

Assuming you avoid the ambiguity of shopping online altogether, what pre-steps can you take to save yourself from a revolving door of high-dollar purchases and returns? Do you simply number crunch based on manufacturers’ sizing charts and hope for the best? Or are there additional measures you can use to minimize your risk while making an informed, educated guess?

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New Furnace Installation

Gas vs Electric Furnace Maintenance

As winter approaches, gas and electric furnace maintenance becomes a priority. Many of us are worried about reports that this year will be a record breaker, and several places in the U.S. have already recorded their earliest snowfall in decades. We have already had winter storms that have shocked the Northeast with their ferocity, taxing oil burning furnaces to the max. With this harsh winter looming, we turn our attention to our furnaces. In Dallas, there are not many oil furnaces. Most people have gas or electric units in their homes and businesses. Here are some pointers on how to maintain your gas and electric furnaces, and a comparison of the two different types of units.

Basic Furnace Maintenance

Both gas and electric furnaces need regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will not only keep the units operating efficiently, it will extend the life of your unit. A poorly maintained unit will not only fail to heat your house properly, it can be inefficient and possibly even dangerous. Both styles of unit can be a fire hazard, and gas units produce combustion products that must be safely and properly vented out of the structure. We recommend, as do many other contractors and publications (This Old House), that you should service your furnace every year. It is not very expensive, and it can save you money in the long run. Professional services are recommended.

gas furnace high efficiencyGas Furnaces

A gas furnace that properly fires and is supplied with enough combustion air will produce water and carbon dioxide, which is then vented outside. A lack of fresh combustion air will cause incomplete combustion and carbon monoxide will be produced instead, leading to a possibly dangerous condition in your home. A carbon monoxide detector and visual signs of backdraft and corrosion should give your contractor some clues as to whether your gas furnace has sufficient combustion air supplied to it. A vent pipe is used to carry the products of combustion outside. The pipe should be checked for cracks or leaks. It should be sealed properly to prevent any gases from entering the living space. It should also never come into contact with any combustible materials such as wood. This would be a potential fire hazard.

Once combustion air and proper venting are verified, we can turn our attention to the furnace itself. Common maintenance tasks include cleaning the combustion chamber and burner orifices, measuring voltages and amp draws, checking motors and capacitors, ensuring proper operation of the ignition components, cleaning the flame sensor, and checking all safety switches and gas valve operation. Many of these checks can be done visually and audibly, while others require the use of specialized tools such as multimeters. Most of these particular maintenance tasks are exclusive to gas furnaces.

Gas and electric furnaces both use a blower that is powered by a small motor. This blower motor moves air across the gas heat exchanger or electric heat strip. This motor is what distributes warm air through the duct system and into the building. The motor bearings can be checked manually and a multimeter is used to check for over amping issues and also electrical winding conditions. Safety switches are present in both types of furnaces to disable the heat when the motor goes out. That is one reason it is so important to check the operation of safety switches during routine maintenance. A gas furnace that continues to fire without the air moving across the heat exchanger would eventually overheat and start a fire. A clean air filter is also extremely important for safety, proper operation, and indoor air quality.

electric-furnace-maintenanceElectric Furnaces

In neighborhoods without a natural gas supply, electric heat is necessary to heat a building. In areas with mild winter temperatures, such as North Texas, heat pumps can be paired with electric heat. Heat pumps are more efficient than electric furnaces until the outdoor temperature starts dropping below 40 degrees. At this point, it is more economical to run only electric heat.

Although the cost to operate a gas furnace is much less than straight electric heat, there are less moving parts in an electric furnace and they are generally quieter than their gas counterparts. This quiet operation is usually a plus for homeowners, and is attributed to having a burner that doesn’t ignite, with no open flame. Electric Furnaces heat the home by forcing air across coils heated electrically. There is no chance for carbon monoxide emission or any other combustion products.

A trained and qualified technician should maintain electric furnaces as well. Whereas gas furnaces use 120V power, electric heat usually requires 208/230V power and includes many electrical components. Understanding of technical wiring diagrams is also necessary. It is a good idea to pull and clean electric heat strips before turning them on for the first time every year. Dust and debris can accumulate on the coils and cause an electrical short and damage the coils. Continuity of coils should also be checked before turning on the heat. If a coil is broken and power is applied to it, more damage could be done to the other coils and other components. Some other important checks are wires and wire connections. Electric heat wires can weaken and become brittle as a result of excess heat and/or loose wire connections, and may need replacing. For this reason all wire connections should be checked for tightness and corrected if a problem is found. Loose wire connections always lead to burnt wires, which can lead to a home fire under the right conditions.

Just like a gas furnace, there are multiple electrical switches and safety devices that need to be checked out as well, along with the blower motor and motor run capacitor. An experienced technician will also check breaker sizes and incoming power wire sizes. Not all installations are done properly, and many times breakers and wire sizes are too small or too large from the first day a system is installed.


Gas furnaces will provide heat at a lower cost to the homeowner because natural gas is cheaper than electricity, at the moment. However, homeowners without natural gas supplied to their neighborhood, do not have a choice. They must use electricity to heat their home. The cost of installation is roughly the same between the two styles of heaters and so is the cost of annual maintenance. Regardless of style, if your furnace is properly maintained annually your house will be warm, your family and belongings will be safer, and your furnace will function properly for many years to come.

Turning on Heat In Dallas, TX

Turning On the Heat for the First Time

The cold weather came quickly this year, even for Dallas, TX. With our first freezing temperature hitting in early November, we are 10 days ahead of the normal schedule. The cold temperatures are expected to last through the week before warming back up for the rest of November. So take this week as a training exercise for the long term, cold spell we will face in December.

Turning on the furnace for the first time in Dallas, can cause more problems than turning on the A/C for the first time. This is because we rarely use our furnaces compared to other parts of the country. With fewer months of use, that means our furnaces sit for a lot longer and can face bigger problems with initial use. Follow the steps below to ensure your furnace will work well for the few cold months in Texas.

1. Check the Air Filter

The hot weather of Dallas means our furnaces collect dust, literally, most of the year. Cleaning the air filter or even (replacing it) should be done especially at the start of the season. Every 3 to 4 months is recommended, but for those of us in Dallas, replacing it once at the start of the cold season can be done. Air filters are cheap and well worth it compared to cleaning a filter by hand.

2. Follow Your Nose

According to FEMA, heating is second only to cooking as the leading cause of residential fires in cold months. You will likely smell a burning scent, while this is normally caused by dust and lint blocking the air filter, it could lead to a fire. It should only last for a few hours, if the furnace smells every time you turn it on, it’s likely a more severe issue with the air filter. It could also be a toy dropped in the heat exchange or items near the furnace. Always be sure to remove any items touching or close to the furnace to avoid a fire.

3. No Heat or Not Enough?

The two main problems of a furnace are not producing any heat or not enough heat. While the cause could be minor, it might also require a heating expert. First check that the thermostat is on heat and working and set to a warm temperature. It’s best to allow the home to warm slowly, rather than crank it up in a rapid amount of time. Second, confirm the circuit isn’t tripped, something that can happen if you have a high load near the furnace. Finally, check the air filters, if the problem still persists it could be a more serious problem that deserves a technician.

Top 5 Creative Ways to Cool Down in Dallas

No question about it, Dallas is hot in the summer, fall and spring. But you can only hide in your air-conditioned home for so long before you get bored. Venture out and try something new.


1. Get Wet

When the going gets hot, the smart get wet. That’s why Dallas has so many water parks. Bahama Beach Family Waterpark, 10 miles south of downtown, is the perfect choice for a group with different levels of thrill seeking. More sedentary visitors tube down the Calypso Cooler Lazy River. Adrenaline junkies plunge down the Riptide Slide and the Bahama Bullet. Entertaining a group of little ones? Bedford Splash has tot-accessible features like the beached boat slide and small bubbling fountains to play in. And every September there’s even a chance to bring the family dog. The annual Dog Splash Day welcomes an onslaught of canines to this small park between Dallas and Fort Worth.

2. Expand Your Cold Treat Horizons

Everybody knows snow cones and ice cream are summer staples. But maybe it’s time to up your frozen treat game. Visit India – okay, Carrollton via Agha Juice – and sample smoothies, fruit juices and ultra-rich homemade kulfi, which is Indian ice cream. You’ll definitely encounter flavors you never see in the grocery store aisle. Cutting back on dairy? Swing by Central Market and pick up a pint of Savoy Sorbet. Flavors include clove, hibiscus flower and lavender.

boat rental in dallas3. Cruise

Is your yacht in the shop for repairs? No worries. You can still enjoy some time on Lake Lewisville.  JT’s Boat Rentals offers wine cruises, party cruises and even an on-lake nightclub with flashing lights and pounding music.  Bring your own picnic dinner for the weekly adults-only sunset cruise. Want the whole boat for you and yours? Charter a 26’, 40’ or 50’ boat for your special occasion.

4. Go Bowling

Bowling has gone upscale from its blue collar roots, at least in places like Splitsville. The Fairview bowling alley combines a vintage aesthetic with modern amenities. Sure, you can get pizza, nachos and sliders while you bowl. But what about the bowler who hungers for sushi? This is the alley where you can satisfy your urge for a crab Rangoon roll complete with water chestnuts and Thai chili sauce. Book online to reserve a lane. And if you go on Tuesday, bowl for two bucks per game per person.

5. Take Your Baby to a Movie

Having a hot summer at home with a fussy baby? Enjoy the A/C during a Cry Baby matinee at Angelika Film Center & Café. On early Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, join other stir crazy parents and their offspring for a child-friendly film. Children under five get in free. At other times of the day, enjoy independent and specialty films at this 8-screen theater. You can wash down your popcorn with espresso, beer or wine.

10 Ways To Fight Indoor Allergies

It is estimated that 40 million people in America suffer from allergies. The sneezing, itchy, water eyes and congestion can be quite bothersome. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to alleviate indoor allergies. Below are some tips for alleviating indoor allergies:

Choose Your Indoor Plants Wisely

It is best to keep indoor plants to a minimum if you suffer from allergies. You will definitely want to keep them out of your bedroom. Indoor shrubs are one of the worst plants to put inside of your home.

Use Hot Water To Kill Dust Mites

Dust mites are one of the top causes of indoor allergies. You can find them on your stuffed animals and bedding. You can prevent dust mites from accumulating by washing your stuffed animals and bedding at least once a week in hot water.

Reduce The Humidity In Your Home

Moisture helps fuel the growth of mold. That is why you will need to keep the humidity in your home as close to 50 percent as possible. You can reduce the humidity by turning on the air conditioner or using a dehumidifier. You should also make sure that you fix any leaks in your home.

Keep Your Home Clean

The blinds, curtains and windows are some of the areas in your home that frequently accumulate mold. Mold can also develop in less-ventilated areas of your home, such as basement or laundry room. You can keep your home free of mold by wiping these areas down with bleach. If you have carpet, then you should vacuum on a regular basis.

Get Rid Of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are often a cause of indoor allergy systems. You can prevent cockroaches from entering your home by removing any food or water source. You may also want to consider calling a professional.

Use An Air Filter

The air that you breathe can be contaminated with pet dander and dust mites. You can keep your air clean by using an air filter.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

You should get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep allows your body to heal from allergy symptoms.


If you have been outside during the times when the pollen was heavy, then you should take a shower and change your clothing. Pollen can stick to anything, and it can trigger allergies.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner can help control indoor allergies, but it has to be maintained. Air filters should be changed at least once a month, and the air filter should be cleaned at least once a year.

Keep Dogs And Cats Out Of The Bedroom

Many people are allergic to an allergen found inside of the pet fur, saliva or urine. You do not have to get rid of your pet, but you should consider keeping him or her out of the bedroom.

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