Indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, mold, and pest droppings can wreak havoc on your physical well-being. Indoor allergens can be carried through the air and can be found on almost every surface inside your home including furniture, floors, vents, and other surfaces.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, removing irritants from your home is more effective than just taking medications to relieve allergy symptoms. In order to enjoy a more pleasant day at home without suffering from a sneezing fit, stuffy head, or itchy and watery eyes all day long, try to allergy-proof your home with a few of these common steps below.
Dust mites are one of the most common allergens found inside the home that can trigger asthma and other allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic, make it a daily or weekly habit to dust surfaces throughout your home and remove any clutter that collects dust easily, like tabletop ornaments, books, knickknacks, and magazines and store these small items in plastic bins. In the bedroom, it’s best to encase pillows and mattresses in dust mite-proof covers. You should also wash sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillowcases at least once a week in very hot water to eliminate any residue from dust mites.
If you have carpet and rugs throughout your home, try vacuuming at least once or twice a week with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter, which can help trap small particles and prevent them from going airborne. You should also wash area rugs and floor mats weekly and shampoo carpets periodically. Even better, if you can remove the carpet entirely and opt for hardwood or linoleum flooring, this will greatly reduce allergens in your home.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
There are many harsh chemicals found in household cleaners that can trigger your allergies without you knowing it. If you notice your allergies act up when using these household cleaners, try to switch to more environmentally friendly cleaning products instead. Green products tend to have gentle and natural ingredients that are plant-based that won’t make you go into a sneezing or coughing fit. Another option is to make your own green cleaning products using items like vinegar, lemon, and baking soda, which are safer and less costly.
Reduce Pet Dander
If the thought of losing your furry friend makes you sick (and irritates your allergies) then the next best thing to do is try to reduce pet dander in your home. Try to keep them off your furniture and bed and bathe them at least once a week to reduce their dander when they shed. You can also reduce dander by vacuuming frequently and making a few areas in your home a pet-free zone.
Prevent Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are sneaky culprits that can pop-up in any damp place from wallpaper, window frames, and sills to plants, refrigerators, basements, and bathrooms. In order to minimize these allergens, replace wallpaper with tile or use a mold-resistant pane in bathrooms and basements where condensation happens the most.
An exhaust fan in the bathroom can also help eliminate the dampness after a shower or hot bath. It’s also important to scrub bathtubs clean and get rid of moldy shower curtains. If you find mildew on the walls in your basement, regularly clean it off with some green products and run a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air.
In the kitchen, wash your dishes daily and scrub your sink and faucets clean. Wipe excessive moisture around your refrigerator and empty the drip pan or replace moldy rubber seals around the fridge door. With plants, spread some aquarium gravel over the dirt to help contain mold in the potted soil. You should also wipe any moisture off window frames and sills and, if possible, use double-paned windows.
Keep Windows Closed and Pollen Out
During pollen season, it’s important to keep your windows closed when pollen counts are the highest, which is between early morning hours and during windy conditions. And if you’re outside during this time, remove your outer garments in your mud room or patio before stepping inside the house. It’s also better to rely on air conditioning to ventilate your home during high pollen season instead of opening windows for fresh air.