Are you an allergy suffer? Indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, dust, and pollen trigger allergy and asthma symptoms in millions of in-home allergy suffers each year. The journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that up to six allergens where typically detectable in more than 50% of homes. Allergens carried through the air can be found on your furniture, the floor, and other surfaces around the house. No home can be completely allergen free, but here are some simple steps to help reduce allergens in your home.
Get rid of the dust
One of the best ways to help control in-home allergens is to get rid of as much dust as possible. The reason is that in that dust and dust mites which are the most common trigger of asthma and allergy symptoms. To get rid of dust, don’t use a dry cloth that will just kick up the dust into the air more. Use a damp cloth or dusting brush like Swiffer dusters that attract the dust to the bristles.
Scrub the air
If you have severe allergies or just want to reduce the effect of allergens in your home, getting an air purifier will help to reduce the number of pollutants in the air dramatically. Indoor air pollutants are in the top five environmental health risks that we have in the home today. There are different types of air cleaners that you can get, from over-the-shelf single room to whole house air cleaners. There are a variety of cleaners like UVGI cleaners, PCO cleaners and Ozone cleaners. Each cleaner tackles different types of pollutants. The epa.gov website has a useful guide on understanding what the cleaners actually do.
Wash the bed sheets, pillows, etc
Dust mites thrive in bedding. I know it sounds really gross that there are little microscopic critters living in your bed with you at night. Dust mites love things like your sheets, pillows, rugs, couches and cushioned chairs. It is important to wash your sheets, pillow cases, and blankets in really hot water. How hot? The water should be at least 130 degrees to effectively kill the dust mites. Get a dust mite cover for your bed and pillows too, this will help to guard against future infestations.
Get rid of the perfumes
There are so many cleaning products out there today that do a great job cleaning, but have a lot of fragrances in them. Many harsh chemicals are found in common household cleaners, but there are many very good organic cleaners that won’t affect your allergies. Vinegar, baking soda and lemon are some of these natural cleaners. Look for products that are labeled organic or hypoallergenic in the store.
Reduce the pet dander
Depending on the type of cat or dog that you have, this may be one of the biggest triggers that you have. Pets have a protein found in their saliva, urine and dander (dead skin flakes) that is a common allergen for many people. To reduce this in your home, wash and groom your pets on a regular basis. Vacuuming frequently with a HEPA filter on your vacuum each week will reduce the amount of dander in your home. The better Upper Valley residential cleaning companies use HEPA filtration on all their vacuums. Try to keep your pet out of your bedroom and off your furniture where their particles can become embedded easily.
Keep the pollen out
Prevent the pollen from even getting in your home by keep your windows and doors closed during peak pollen season. Try avoid going outside between 5 AM and 10 AM in the morning. This is when pollen is usually emitting from plants. If you do have to go outside when you come back in, change your clothes and possibly take a quick shower. This will help to reduce the amount of pollen you bring into the house and control your allergies.
Use a humidifier
Controlling the humidity in your home is another way to combat against a number of allergens floating around in the air. Allergens such as animal dander are more likely to fly around in dry environments’ with little humidity. Try to keep the humidity in your home around 40% to 50%. During the hotter months, run the air conditioner also. Virtually all ACs have filters that keep the AC's cooling fins from cloggin up, but inadvertantly help to reduce the amount of allergens in the air. Check to see if you can geta HEPA filter for your room AC or for your central HVAC.
- Life is busy, don’t tackle all of this on your own. Hire an Upper Valley residential cleaning company to come in on a regular basis to clean the rugs, upholstery, floor and dust.
- Get an air purifier that covers multiple rooms or the whole house. It may be expensive upfront, but in the long run it will save you from a lot of headaches and allergy issues.
- Create a cleaning schedule for your home and stick to it.
- Hire an indoor air expert to test the air quality in your home and identify which allergens you might have.
- Talk to your doctor about what you are allergic to and try to remove those things from your life.
- Don’t forget, if you have pets, get them groomed on a regular basis to cut down on animal dander.