Sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes can be frustrating symptoms of allergies. Many sufferers find the spring and fall months unbearable. However, those with indoor allergies can experience relentless symptoms the whole year long.
So what do you do when the allergens that are triggering your reactions are actually in your home? Dust, dander, and mold can wreak havoc on your system and cause endless reactions. One of the most effective ways to manage your symptoms is by reducing the number of allergens that are present in your space.
With the amount of time you live and sleep in your home, it’s important to make it the cleanest and purest environment possible. Inside and out, there are some great strategies to help reduce allergens in your home. Follow these steps to help you breathe easier, the whole year through.
Routinely Clean Your Home
It’s important to have a very consistent cleaning routine for your home. Dusting and vacuuming should be done regularly to rid your home of build-ups of dust. This is especially true if you have pets that leave irritating dander in your space.
When dusting, it’s important to use a technique that captures dust and not sends it flying through the air. Use a high-quality dusting tool and dusting spray that’s safe for your surfaces. This way you trap the dust and can rinse it right down the drain.
A high-quality vacuum is also important. Look for one with a HEPA filter that traps allergens and exhausts pure air from the system. Use attachments to reach into corners and near baseboards where dust likes to stubbornly hide.
If you aren’t able to keep up with your cleaning routine, consider hiring a housekeeping service. Not only will they save you time and keep your home consistently clean, but they are experts in getting the deepest, most meticulous clean. The investment in this service will pay off in a fresh clean home that allows you to feel better.
Purify Your Air
A high-quality air purifier is another essential tool for eliminating allergens from your home. This will cycle your air, trapping air-borne irritants in the system. It’s a must to have one in your bedroom but also wise to consider adding them in other frequently used spaces as well.
When looking for an air purifier, the room size will be a big consideration. Make sure the unit you choose is large enough for its intended space. It’s important to know the square footage of the room that you plan to use the filter in.
You also want to look for a purifier with a fine HEPA filter to trap even the tiniest of particles. A deodorizing feature is also a nice perk. A unit with different speeds and settings allows you to adjust it to various conditions. Make sure to look for silent units as well, especially for sleeping spaces.
Maintaining your air filter is essential to keeping it running well. Clean and change filters according to the manufacturer’s directions. Many have indicator lights to let you know when routine maintenance is needed. Staying up on this will make sure your filter is eliminating as many particles as efficiently as possible.
Your HVAC system is another good way to purify the air throughout your home. Look for air filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 13 to remove the most particles. Replace these filters frequently depending on the season and number of people and pets in your home. Simply running your HVAC system’s fan an hour each day is a great way to circulate the air and put your air filter to work.
Reducing Mold in and Around Your Home
Twenty-five percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to mold. If you have found yourself in this situation, it’s important to eliminate mold in and around your home. Being mindful and strategic in the short term can save you a lot of suffering in the long run.
Pay attention to outdoor allergy guides and note when mold spores are the highest. Keep your windows closed on these days to prevent an onslaught of particles in your home. If you go outside, remove shoes when coming into the house, change clothes, and shower nightly.
Piles of damp leaves and stacks of firewood are breeding grounds for irritating mold. Make sure to remove them from the exterior of your home, especially in areas that border your house. Move firewood to the edges of your property, as far away from your living structure as possible.
Reducing moisture in your home can also reduce the chances that mold can thrive. Attempt to keep humidity between 35% and 55%. Use a dehumidifier if you have especially damp areas and run the air conditioner to circulate air. Turn exhaust fans on after showers and open the kitchen window to remove steam from your cooking sessions.
Make Your Home’s Surfaces Allergy-Resistant
Eliminating allergens is a great opportunity to give your home’s interior a facelift. By making changes both large and small, you’ll reduce the places for allergens to hide. You’ll also make your home easier to keep clean and rid it of irritants.
Carpet is a comfy and warm flooring option. Unfortunately, dust mites feel the same way. Carpet fibers also trap dust and dander, making them difficult to remove. Consider replacing carpet with a hard flooring option line engineered vinyl plank or hardwood. Add washable rugs for a cozy though that can still be cleaned thoroughly.
Curtains are another hiding spot for dust and dander. If you are committed to curtains, look for washable ones and clean them often. You can also replace them with easy-to-clean shades or wide-slatted blinds.
Upholstered furniture is nice and comfortable. However, it’s also a great place for dust and dander to hide. Look for leather or faux leather options that can easily be wiped clean. Committed to soft surfaces? Shop for pieces with removable covers that can be thrown in the washing machine.
Alleviating Allergy Symptoms with a Cleaner, Purer Home
Living with allergies can be frustrating and overwhelming. Remembering to take medicines, avoiding triggers, and scheduling appointments with specialists can be tough to keep up with. Taking the steps to make your home a clean and pure environment is one way to make living with allergies easier.
While it might take a little time and money to make your home more allergy-friendly, it will be worth it. You’ll have a fresher place to come home to and know that you are doing everything you can to alleviate symptoms. And by reducing allergens you’ll create a safe haven where you and your family can thrive and live the healthiest lives possible.