Tips for Keeping Your Home Allergen Free

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How to Protect Your Home from Allergens

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Allergy season can be a killer. If you're prone to allergies, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose are likely to attack every time you leave your house. Even worse is when those symptoms appear in your own home. You might not be able to control the rest of the world, but with a few simple changes you can keep the allergens out of your home and breathe easier--at least part of the time.

What are you allergic to?

Visit an allergist to figure out what allergens are triggering your attacks. The most common offenders are dust mites, mold, pollen, and pet dander. You could be correcting the wrong problem while adding to another. If you're think you're allergic to pollen and keep the windows closed, but find out you're actually allergic to your cat, opening the windows would be a better solution.

Minimize dust mites

Dust and dust mites can be found anywhere. Dust mites like to live in your bed, furniture and carpet and usually cause nasal allergies. They prefer moist warm air, so using a dehumidifier can help keep them under control. If you're allergic to dust mites, work through your house room-by-room to get rid of their favorite hiding spots.
  • Cover your mattress and pillows with dust mite covers. They'll repel the allergens so you can get a good night's sleep.
  • Get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting and replace it with hardwood floors. Use area rugs that can be washed periodically.
  • Upgrade your vacuum cleaner if it doesn't have a HEPA filter. These filters are specifically made to trap particles as tiny as 0.3 microns, which includes most allergens.
  • Replace curtains and drapes with blinds. They trap less dust and allergens than fabric window treatments. If you insist on having curtains, find a machine washable kind that are easier to clean. Vacuum your drapes and your blinds a few times a month to keep them dust free.

Keep pollen outside

Pollen can be the worst allergy offender, especially in the spring and summer months. It is almost impossible to avoid outdoors, but if pollen is your Kryptonite, it is important to keep it out of your home. Unfortunately, it's relatively easy to track inside when you aren't paying attention.
  • Take your shoes off as soon as you get inside and keep them by the door. Dirt and grass can bring pollen into your home.
  • Keep windows closed, especially at night to keep pollen from drifting in.
  • If your kitchen or bathroom fans just recirculate the indoor air, consider replacing them with exhaust fans to send the particles and humidity out of the house completely.
  • Don't hang your laundry outside to dry. Pollen can easily collect on your clothing and you'll end up bringing it inside.

Eliminate mold and fungus

Mold can grow anywhere in your home that is damp and humid. Control the humidity in your home to reduce the amount of mold and clean susceptible areas thoroughly and often.
  • The bathroom is the most common place to find mold. Clean it regularly and make sure it's well ventilated, especially when showering. Replace cracked tiles and re-caulk the sinks and tubs every few years to keep mold form growing behind the walls.
  • Under the kitchen sink is one of the most overlooked areas of your home. Drippy pipes and dampness can cause mold growth. Seal holes, fix leaks and keep the area clean and dry at all times. Check for insects or rodent droppings that can trigger allergies. 

Keep pet dander under control

Pets can become a part of your family, but that doesn't mean you'll be immune to their pet dander.
  • Bathe your pets often to reduce shedding and dander.
  • Vacuum your whole home frequently including the furniture, and carpets with a HEPA filter vacuum. Focus on the areas your pet is in the most.
  • Keep your pet out of your bedroom. You'll get a better night's sleep if you aren't inhaling all of the hair and dander your pet left during the day.

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on July 15, 2016 - Moving Expert
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