Depending on their severity, allergies can range from mildly irritating to flat-out debilitating. During the height of pollen season, many people with allergies stay indoors. But often common allergens are hiding in plain sight within your home. Making some simple changes can reduce the amount of irritants in your environment, increasing your comfort and improving your overall health.
The following are five ways to allergy-proof your home.
Cover your bedding
Though you can’t see them, dust mites make their way into your bedding and contribute to your allergies. To prevent this, encase your comforter, pillows, mattress, and box spring with dust-mite-proof coverings. Additionally, be sure to wash your sheets every week in hot water that reaches a temperature of at least 130 degrees. Then, dry them at a high temperature as well.
Remove your carpeting
Wall-to-wall carpeting often traps pet hair, dust, and pollen that makes its way in on footwear and clothing. If you’ve ever had a leak, mold can grow beneath your carpet or breed in its padding, and you may not even realize it. With this in mind, if you can remove rugs and regularly clean hardwood floors, you significantly reduce the allergens in your environment. If you can’t part with your carpet, consider purchasing a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a certification mark from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Purify the air
Filter and circulate the air in your home with an air purifier, which can capture up to 99.97 percent of airborne particles, such as pet dander, pollen, dust, mold, and smoke. Choose one that’s capable of cleaning the square footage of your room. You may need multiple units depending on the size of your home.
Look for leaks
Even the smallest amount of standing water can cause mold to grow. Be sure to check under sinks to ensure that your pipes aren’t leaking. Kitchens, bathrooms, and basements are breeding grounds for mold because of moisture in the air. You may want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier to decrease dampness. If you discover mold, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends cleaning it immediately while wearing a mask and gloves. Clean the area weekly to prevent mold from returning.
Establish pet-free zones
As much as you may adore your pets, if you have allergies, they may be a contributing factor. To minimize your symptoms, try to avoid allowing your pet to sleep in your bed. Bathing, brushing, or grooming your pet regularly can also help reduce allergy symptoms.
By taking the right steps, you can minimize the presence of common allergens in your home, which, in turn, should increase your comfort.