With summer right around the corner, conditions will be perfect for making millions of allergy-sufferers experience a wide range of symptoms, both indoors and outside.
That's right, indoor allergies can be just as bad as anything Mother Nature can throw at you. In this article, we take a look at how to reduce allergens in your home. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to make your summer as allergy-free as possible.
In This Post:
1. Find Out What You're Allergic To
If you want to solve a problem, it's wise to first figure out exactly what is causing the problem. Allergies are caused by a variety of things. The offenders typically include pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen.
The more you understand what's causing your sneezing and runny nose, the more success you'll have addressing the issue and reducing your symptoms.
After all, there's really no point in making drastic changes to your home until you've taken measures to pinpoint exactly what you're allergic to.
2. Change Your Air Filters
The filters in your heating and cooling system are one of the primary layers of defense against allergens inside your home. Replacing them every two to three months is key to keeping the air you breathe as clean as possible.
Filters are simple to change and are relatively inexpensive. You can buy them in multi-packs to keep extras on hand so that you can change them anytime of the day or night.
It's important to check your filters once a week, especially during warmer months. Yet even during the winter your filters need to be changed frequently, especially if you run the furnace or fireplace a lot.
3. Replace Drapes With Blinds
Believe it or not, fabric window treatments are areas of the home that collect allergens and trap them there. Blinds or shades are a better option. But if you prefer curtains, be sure to purchase the kind that are machine-washable so that you can toss them in the wash to keep them dust-free.
Blinds are great because they tend to trap fewer allergens and are very easy to clean. The key is to clean them at least once a week. You can use a wet rag or a vacuum with a brush attachment. It's especially important to keep your blinds or window treatments clean during months when you like to have your windows open.
4. Buy a Hygrometer
One of the keys to reducing the amount of allergens in your home is to keep the humidity level as low as possible. High humidity can lead to mold problems. A simple solution for dealing with mold is to invest a few dollars in a device called a hygrometer.
This device is available at most hardware stores and can provide you with an idea of the moisture level in your home.
Simply walk through your house with the device, taking readings of the moisture level in each room. If the readings are above 60 percent, this lets you know that it would be a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier, otherwise you're going to wind up with mold.
5. Install Exhaust Fans
Your kitchen and bathrooms are rooms that produce high levels of humidity. If the humidity doesn't have anywhere to go, you'll likely end up with a mold problem. Many homeowners have exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to help rid the house of this humidity.
This doesn't always fully solve the problem. That's because many exhaust fans simply vent the humidity into the attic. While that's better than the interior of the house, it still provides the potential for mold to start to grow.
The best solution for this is to install exhaust fans that vent humidity to the outside of your house entirely.
The best way to keep the humidity passing smoothly from the vent to the outside is with air duct cleaning.
6. Focus On Your Bed
Now let's discuss your bedroom. The unfortunate reality is that your bed collects a very unpleasant level of dust mites and their droppings. Especially your pillows and mattress. Sounds disgusting, doesn't it? Well, it is!
Even if you don't have allergy problems, no one wants to go to bed with the knowledge that they are sleeping in filth. And yet many people do just that every single night.
One of the keys to keeping your sleeping space clear of mites and droppings is to use a dust cover for your mattress. You'll also want to keep your bed frame and headboard clean.
Washing your pillowcases at least once a week is a good habit to get into. This might seem a bit excessive, and yet this is one way to prevent buildup. And if your pillowcases have to be dry-cleaned, be sure to do this at least every three weeks.
It's also a wise policy to vacuum your mattress every time you change your bedding.
7. Double Your Doormats
Here is another useful tip many people likely haven't thought of. Place doormats on both the inside and outside of each exterior door.
Having one on the outside simply isn't enough to prevent tracking in pollen and other allergens from outside. Thus we recommend also having a doormat on the inside as well. This provides twice as much surface area for scraping off any irritants you might bring in on the bottoms of your shoes.
This is especially important if you have a family with children who spend a lot of time running in and out of the house at all hours of the day.
Tips for Reducing Indoor Allergies
There's nothing fun about allergies. They can make life unpleasant and keep you from enjoying your favorite activities. The key to reducing or eliminating indoor allergies to take preventive measures that are easy and inexpensive.
The tips listed in the article can help. So take the time to follow this advice and you'll find that you're able to breathe easier and enjoy life to the fullest.
Click here to learn how to prepare your home for summer.