Anyone who suffers from allergies knows how miserable one can feel when symptoms flare. Medications to relieve symptoms and immunotherapy are often the first line of attack when allergy problems arise, but controlling the environment is another way to lessen the effects allergies have on one’s life. Here are five secrets for creating an allergy free home for you and your loved ones.
1. Reduce the Number of Surfaces in the Home that Absorb Allergens
Hard surfaces are easier to clean. Shun carpeting in favor of hardwood, tile, linoleum, or other hard flooring. If those aren’t options, choose low pile carpet. Smaller rugs that can be washed frequently in hot water are also acceptable. Don’t use a tablecloth. It is much easier to wipe down the tabletop. Get rid of throw pillows; these decorative items aren’t usually laundered often enough. Consider a protective covering for mattresses and pillows.
2. Monitor Humidity Levels in the Home
Molds and dust mites thrive when the humidity is higher than 50%, so try to keep levels at 45% or below. Invest in a dehumidifier if necessary. Also be sure to run an exhaust fan in the bathroom when showering. Dry shower and tubs walls thoroughly after bathing. Use a bleach solution to kill any mold that appears.
3. Consider an Air Purifier
Some HVAC systems can have HEPA systems installed, but smaller air filtering units are also fine. Plants can act as natural air purifiers, but take care to choose non-allergenic ones. Also be aware that damp soil can lead to mold.
Be sure to change air filters regularly. Oak Brook Allergists also recommend covering air vents with layers of cheese cloth. These will trap various allergens and can be changed when dirty.
4. Keep Windows Closed
Be sure to keep windows closed and run the air conditioning during times when pollen is high. Remove shoes at the entryway so that pollen and dust aren’t tracked inside. Use the dryer. Although line drying is frugal, it coats clothing in pollen.
5. Regular Cleaning
Regular dusting is a must. However, furniture sprays sometimes only move dust around and the strong chemicals in them can cause a reaction. Choose a microfiber cloth instead; the dust will cling to it.
Consider steam cleaners for furniture and steam mops for floors. The steam destroys dust mites and other microbes.
Use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.
Get rid of clutter. Knickknacks, old books and similar items are dust magnets. Cleaning will be less hassle if they aren’t there at all.
No one likes dealing with allergies, but taking steps to eliminate allergens from one’s home can lessen the frequency and severity of symptoms.
Karleia is a freelance blogger. Follow her on Facebook.