It seems as if more and more people are dealing with the uncomfortable effects of allergies each day. When we think of allergies, we tend to think of the outdoors—the pollen, the grass, the weeds. But a lot of what is outdoors ends up indoors. That, along with the effects of allergies from things that are actually in our home, are causing allergic reactions in people that can often be controlled, or at least minimized.
Here we take a look at ways to minimize the effects for allergies in our homes, making our homes a safer and more comfortable place to live.
We’ll start with ideas to minimize the outdoors allergens that we bring in. While it isn’t realistic to say we should not go outdoors during peak allergy times, such as when pollen is at its worst, we can practice ways to keep the allergens outdoors when we come in.
The easiest way to leave pollen outside is by closing windows and doors during peak pollen times, which is generally in the morning hours. In the warmer summer months, be sure to use an air conditioner instead of leaving windows open. Air conditioners will not only regulate the temperature in your home, but the filter within the unit will keep allergens at bay.
Control moisture and mold but using a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the air. You can also control moisture in your bathroom by using an exhaust fan when you have your shower on, and also limiting the time you have your shower running. Excess moisture that builds up in the air is a cause of mold spurs. If you do see any signs of mold growing, be sure to clean it immediately and continue to clean the area weekly to be sure it doesn’t return.
Another good habit to get into is to wipe down your shower, tub and sinks after use.
Dusting frequently will also decrease the allergens in our homes. However, your method of dusting is important to consider. If using a dry duster, you are essentially just pushing the allergens around, making them airborne, and they are eventually just settling in a new location. Using a wet cloth will effectively remove the dust and allergens, reducing allergic reactions.
Wet mop your hardwood, tile and vinyl floors at least once a week to remove pet fur and dander, pollen and other allergens.
If possible, remove rugs from your home. If this is not a feasible idea, vacuuming is key. Be sure to vacuum your rugs multiple times a week… and also vacuum any heavy drapes and cloth furniture that will hold dust and allergens.
Use dust-mite proof covering on your mattresses and pillows, and wash your bedding as often as once a week in hot water to remove dust-mites.
If you have dogs in the home, keeping them out of your bedrooms will help prevent the spread of pet dander and fur, which is the cause of allergic reactions for some people. Bathing you pets once a week will also cut down on the allergens, as will washing their toys and beds in hot water on a regular basis.
While there are numerous other actions that can be taken to control the spread of allergens, taking small steps now and planning ahead will allow you to decrease the allergic reactions of those in your home and make your home a healthier and more comfortable environment.