Housing Advice

Reducing Home Allergens

While allergies symptoms can range from mild to severe, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 60 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies.  Approximately 40 million suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy.  The most common triggers being trees, grass and weed pollen, mold, dust mites, cockroaches, and cat, dog, and rodent dander.   Food allergies account for approximately 6% of allergy suffers, and the most common triggers are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

If you have allergies, you may have experienced sniffling, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, or worse.  It can be a very unpleasant experience when you your allergies flare up.  While there isn’t much you can do to rid yourself completely of your allergies, there are certainly some simple things you can do around your home that will help to reduce allergens.

Use an allergen impermeable cover to enclose your mattress, box spring, and pillows.  In an article we read by Mikki Hogan at The Allergy Spot, the first area you want to consider is your bed and your bedroom.  Dust and dust mites found on your bed can be a major trigger for your allergy symptoms.  These covers will help trap any allergens that may be on your mattress, and will prevent them from being inhaled.

Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets in hot water at least once per week.  Hogan explains that hot water will kill all dust mites and removes allergens from the fabrics.  By accompanying this with hypoallergenic fabrics, you can greatly reduce the potential for your symptoms to flare up.

Vacuum floors regularly.  By vacuuming carpeting and other flooring, you can greatly reduce dust and other allergens that can accumulate.  You can use dry carpet cleaners to further remove allergens.  According to Hogan, shampooing carpets can leave residual moisture than can increase dust mite growth.  You may also want to consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Dust regularly.  Be sure to dust every area that could potentially collect dust.  You may also want to consider clearing any clutter or messes regularly to prevent the collection of dust.

Wash curtains and blinds monthly.  In another article we read by Clean Air Plus, when purchasing curtains, you will want to consider washable fabrics so that you can wash them safely without damaging them.  You will also want to take a clean washcloth and wipe down window blinds.  Both curtains and blinds are primary locations for dust collection.

Regularly vacuum and clean furniture.  Ensuring that couches, tables, shelves, etc. are regularly cleaned will also help to greatly reduce dust and other allergens.  Be sure to remove the appropriate cleaners for woods and fabrics.  Vacuuming can be especially helpful on cloth-based furniture.

Regularly clean shower and tub areas.  Because these areas are generally damp, they can become breading grounds for mold and mildew.  To ensure that mold and mildew do not build up, regularly clean these areas with the appropriate cleaners.

Avoid opening windows when pollen is active.  This is pretty self-explanatory, but this will help ensure that no pollen gets in and it will decrease the number of allergens inside your home.

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