9 Ways to Protect Your Home From Allergens
For those suffering from allergies, summer is more than a time for fun in the sun, it’s a time to stock up on tissues, allergy medicine, nasal sprays, and for hiding from the outside world when it gets unbearable. Yes, summer allergens can be a pain!
How can we protect ourselves, our families, and our homes without resorting to strapping a giant bubble to our heads?
Sometimes spending more time inside is just as bad as being outside. After all, we spend close to 90% of our time inside, especially in these hot and humid Atlanta summer.
All of the typical summer allergens make their way into our homes, our carpets, our bedding, our clothes, and the ailments we thought we escaped find their way into our lungs, our noses, and our eyes.
By making your home an allergen-free zone, you’ll be able to enjoy the summer sun and backyard BBQs once again! Take a look around your home and implement some of these tricks and tips on protecting your home from allergens.
1. Clean the Carpets!
Carpet is prime real estate for pollen, cut grass, and dust mites.
Dust mites are tiny insects that love to burrow into carpets and other fabrics. Their residue gets in the air and causes problems. Walking on your carpet kicks up all of those allergens leading to stuffy noses and sneezing fits.
So, if you enjoy having carpets, what can you do?
- Daily vacuuming
- Deep cleaning
- Remove shoes
Carpets are nice, soft and warm, homey, but they can become a hazard if not taken care of properly.
2. Remove the Carpets!
If you’d rather not deal with the maintenance of carpet care, you can always do away with them.
Opt for wood flooring instead. It’s easier than ever to install wood floors yourself these days.
You’ll still need to care for your floors if you want to keep the tracked-in pollen and pollutants from irritating your allergies, but in this case, it’s more sweeping and washing.
3. Dust! Properly.
One of the biggest issues with dusting is that some people do it wrong.
Yes, there is a wrong way to dust. It isn’t as simple as wiping a cloth along with counters; that method only sends those allergens into the air, worsening the problem. Instead, invest in quality dusting supplies. Dusters that collect and hold the dust rather than push it around are key.
Also, consider using dusting spray because they leave surfaces shiny and smelling nice and keep dust from settling.
Not a fan of the strong chemical smell? Not a problem! Make your own dusting spray with this simple guide.
3. Change the Air Filters. Regularly!
Change your air conditioner filters, duct filters, and air filters in your home. Even better, have a professional come and do it for you.
Air conditioners can only do so much in keeping the outside out and working to cool the inside of your home.
Do your part to protect your home from allergens and change the air filters.
4. Clean the Vents. All of Them!
If you’re taking care of your air conditioning vents or having a professional do it for you, then you are one step ahead of the game.
But what about your dryer vent?
Some people don’t think about it except as a fire hazard, but your dryer vent does much more than just collect dust.
The vent helps get rid of allergens that have collected on your clothing and stayed even after a wash. Keep your dryer vent cleaned and your clothes, and nose will thank you!
5. Beware of Mold!
Mold is an allergen that is everywhere.
Breathing black mold particles over time can cause health problems, especially if you are allergic.
Mold grows in warm, damp, and humid areas. Bathrooms, shower stalls, and basements are the best places for mold to grow.
Along with causing health issues, mold can damage the surfaces where it grows. Care for your home and tackle the mold issue before it happens with these steps:
- Wipe down shower walls after a shower.
- Keep your home cool; no warmer than 70 degrees. Anything warmer creates prime conditions for mold and dust mites.
- Wipe up condensation from window sills.
- Use a dehumidifier in your basement.
Basically, don’t leave water in warm places.
7. Use an Air Purifier!
Some people think that an air purifier is the be-all, end all of allergy care.
But, in truth, this is more of a safety net than a cure. If you are doing all of the above in your home allergy maintenance, then you are doing all right.
An air purifier will filter your home of floating allergens. It can’t help with what has already settled, but it can’t hurt to have one.
Plus, recent research indicates that even using an air purifier for a limited time will help with your indoor air quality!
8. No Smoking!
If you or friends smoke, stop. Keep the smoking out of your home.
Cigarette smoke irritates asthma and allergies, along with discoloring your walls and stinking up your clothes and furniture.
We all know that there are more than enough reasons out there to quit smoking. One that is not frequently discussed is allergens.
But if you are finding it hard to quit, or your friends assure you they are down to a few a day, then insist that smoking is banned from inside your home.
9. Groom the Pets!
Doctors will suggest you get rid of your pets…
We will suggest you get your pets groomed.
Those of us who have pets tend to treat them like family. The hugs, the kisses, the playing. But all of that contact can be hazardous to our allergies.
How often your pet sheds, the length of their fur, and how badly you react to them will determine how often your pet should be groomed by professionals.
On your own, you can do some dog and cat grooming yourself or take some of the following actions:
- Keep them off the furniture as much as possible.
- Keep them off your pillows.
- Sweep and vacuum.
If you are really suffering, talk to your doctor about medicines that can help.
Grooming your pets is not only good for your allergies, but it’s also good for your pet! Avoid hairballs, matted fur, and itchy skin, and your pet will love you and shower you with extra kisses and cuddles.
Unless your pet is a cat.
Summer is a great time of year to relax and spend time around your home. Don’t let these home allergens ruin your summer! With these simple solutions, tips, and tricks to help with your allergies, you’ll be able to enjoy the fun and the sun, and come home to an allergy-free sanctuary!