If you or a family member suffers from seasonal or year-round allergies, it might feel like there is nothing you can do to combat the problem. This is especially true when the allergens are something you hard to control, like pollen, dust, and pets. It helps to know what you can do to take preventative measures, and the first step is the air that you breathe. If your triggers are from airborne allergens, one of the best things you can do is make sure your house is as free from them as possible. Here is a handy guide of things you can do along with getting the air in your home purified which will help protect your family from allergies.
Clear The Air
Clean air is essential for good health. Not only will it reduce your chances of suffering the symptoms of airborne allergies, ensuring the purity of the air you breath is good for the planet. Nix the chemicals, including those found in cleaners and air fresheners. They are often packed with toxic compounds and can trigger allergic reactions. Homemade solutions can be made with vinegar, and baking soda and essential oils can add a fresh scent. To cleanse the air inside further, consider an air purifier which can be easily found online.
Clean The Corners
It is common practice to exercise the out-of-sight, out-of-mind theory and that is when problems can occur. If you have a cupboard under the sink or storage space in the basement, it is a good idea to check them out every once in awhile. Take everything out to make sure there are no leaks or spills and pipes are in prime condition. Not only are these dark, damp places breeding ground for mold, but they can also attract mice, rats, and cockroaches. Seal any holes that may be letting in the annoying critters.
Did you know there are more than 100,000 species of mold? Keeping the bathroom clean and the air circulating is the best way to make sure it is not subjected to mold growth. If mold does start to show up, tackle it as soon as you notice it by using a product for killing the pesky fungus. If not, it will quickly spread, get out of control, and potentially cause illness. Make sure surfaces are always dried off, replace cracked or broken tiles to avoid water seeping into walls, and maintain caulking around sinks and tubs. Regularly cleaning the corners of your home combined with the use of an air purifier are two easy steps to mitigate mold.
From Curtains To Blinds
Many people prefer the look and ease of curtains, but for allergy sufferers, they may not be the best choice. Fabric drapes can become a target for allergens, trapping dust particles, pollen, and other airborne culprits. A better alternative is to install blinds or shades, which accomplish the same job for privacy and maintaining darkness but do not harbor as many allergy triggers. They are easier to wipe clean than drapes, but if curtains are your only option, machine wash or dry clean them often and use a vacuum brush on them regularly.
Focus On Air Filter
If you suffer from seasonal or indoor allergies, an air purifier might be a smart investment, as well as replacing the filter on your furnace. An air filter can help, but not completely eliminate, pollutants in the air and may alleviate some of your suffering. Airborne allergens land in the carpet and on furniture where they can become trapped, so the only way to get rid of those is through effective cleaning, vacuuming, and use of an air purifier. An air filter will help clear the air of pollen, but it is recommended to stay away from any that produce ozone, as it can further exacerbate allergic reactions.
A Good Vacuum
A vacuum that spews dust while you are cleaning is a sure way to backfire your cleaning efforts, and will only add to the collection of dust mites and pet dander causing your allergic reactions. An investment of a good vacuum, one with a HEPA filter, will pay off in the long run in terms of your comfort and health. The filter is made with a very fine mesh through which air is forced and traps tiny particulates, including those harmful ones, as small as 0.3 microns. In comparison, an average human hair is approximately fifty to 150 microns in diameter.
The entrance to the outside is one place allergy sufferers should pay attention to as well. The family should get into the habit of taking shoes off before entering to avoid tracking allergens all over the house, and guests should be asked to do the same. A doormat placed on the outside and inside of the doorway will prevent mud, dirt, and other messes stepped on from entering the house. Remember they do need replacing over time, as they will eventually become inhibited with allergens. It can help to mark down the last time you bought a new one and jot down when your next one should be purchased.
Scrap The Carpet
Older homes are typically covered in wall-to-wall carpet, and you can imagine how much hidden dust and allergens have been trapped in it over the years. Despite regular vacuuming and even steam cleaning, enough particulates may remain to trigger allergies. Consider replacing carpet and rugs with an alternative. There are a lot of flooring choices these days, including hardwood, laminate, tiles, and linoleum. They are all simple to clean and are modern and durable. It is an investment to increase the value of your home and keep it clear of dust and other allergens.
The first place to tackle should be the bedroom and this happens to also be the best place for an air purifier. The bed is where you should be spending at least eight hours per day, and the linens are an easy target for invisible allergens. Keep them laundered regularly in hot water if allergies are a problem. A mattress cover and pillow protector are also recommended. Make the bedrooms a no-go zone for pets if they contribute to your allergies. For kid’s bedrooms, keep it tidy with just the toys currently being used out front and center. The rest can be stored in totes or the in the closet and rotated for continual use.