Everyone wants their house to be a happy and healthy place to live. Your living space should be somewhere you can relax and feel at ease. But, sometimes, the home environment can cause conditions that impact your health and wellbeing.
If you frequently experience allergies, you will understand how frustrating it is to deal with the symptoms and keep them under control. No one wants to have a runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes every day, but if you have perennial allergic rhinitis, this may be the case.
Allergies are one of the most common chronic illnesses in the United States. It is estimated that around 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. While allergies are often associated with being outdoors, for example, hay fever, they can also be caused by the home environment.
If you experience allergies to pet dander, pollen, dust mites, or mold spores, you may find you suffer from allergy symptoms while you are at home. Reducing the level of allergens in your home should help alleviate allergy symptoms and make your home environment feel much healthier.
Here is how you can reduce the allergens in your home:
1. Clean the Right Way
If you suffer from allergies, you may want to wear a face mask and gloves when you clean your home to reduce your direct exposure to potential allergens, such as disturbed dust. Cleaning your home regularly will help lessen the likelihood of your allergies being triggered each day and will reduce the amount of contact you have with potential allergens while doing your chores.
If you have cats, dogs, or other furry pets at home, it is especially crucial to vacuum your home frequently, including mattresses, pillows and soft-furnishings to prevent fur, pet dander and dust mites from building up and causing allergy symptoms.
The cleaning tools you use for your chores also play a significant role in reducing allergens. Using a vacuum cleaner which has a HEPA filter is recommended if you have allergy sufferers in your home. It is also helpful to dust using a slightly damp microfiber cloth so that you attract and collect the dust rather than simply move it around.
2. Reduce Allergies When You Decorate
If you are planning to redecorate your home sometime soon, you may want to choose an interior design scheme that takes your allergies into account. There are a few ways you can help reduce allergens in your home through your décor choices.
Instead of choosing carpet for your flooring, why not lookout for the best LVT flooring? Carpets can exacerbate allergies as they collect dust and also shed fibers, whereas hard flooring can be easily cleaned and won’t trap dust or pet hair.
If you are giving your bedroom a new look, you may want to choose anti-allergy bedding such as pillows to reduce the chances of dust mite allergies further.
3. Remove Clutter
Clutter is an issue in most homes. It is so easy for clutter to gradually build up that people often don’t notice it until it gets really bad. Clutter is more than merely annoying; it can also aggravate dust mite allergies.
Having piles of stuff in your home or even lots of ornaments and decorative objects on display can cause dust to accumulate and make it challenging to clean your house thoroughly. Getting rid of the clutter is the best way to reduce the dust levels in your home and will also make cleaning so much easier.
4. Keep Up With Home Maintenance
Keeping your home well-maintained not only makes your home easier to manage, but it can also help keep allergies at bay. One crucial part of home maintenance to focus on is getting your HVAC serviced and maintained regularly.
If your vents are not properly cleaned, you may end up circulating pollen and dust throughout your home, which is bad news if you or anyone in your home suffers from allergic rhinitis or a dust mite allergy. It is also important to change your furnace and humidity filters regularly too.
Reducing moisture levels in your home is also key to managing allergens. Keeping your windows open or using an extractor fan when cooking and taking a shower is crucial to prevent condensation from forming.
If your home has high moisture levels, you may find that mold begins to form, which not only looks bad but can cause allergy symptoms in people that are sensitive to mold spores.
If you spot mold in your house, it is wise to eliminate the cause and to get the mold properly removed to prevent airborne mold spores causing issues in your home and to your health.
Check for any repairs that need to be done within the home in the stairwells, foundations, basement and windows for any sources of leaks or water damage as these can lead to mold developing.
5. Remove soft furnishings that can attract and collect dust
Soft furnishings though cozy and pretty to look at, can exacerbate allergy symptoms. You don’t have to live in a concrete jungle to be allergy free but you can make the following changes to make your home healthier.
- Opt for curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric that can be washed easily.
- Replace any horizontal blinds with roller shades.
- Avoid upholstered furnishings and purchase chairs that are easy to clean.
- Place dust-mite proof covers over mattresses and pillows in the bedroom.
- Replace pillows and bedding every few years.
6. Use a gas furnace instead of an oil furnace
While an oil furnace can create a nicer, warmer, consistent heat, it also creates a film on all surfaces which can attract more dust and pollen etc. This is one of the most expensive solutions to your home for allergen control but well worth it in the long run.
7. Reduce the temperature of your home and purchase an air purifier
Warmer and more humid houses are the perfect places for the development of mold and dust mites. Keep your home at a moderate temperature and reduce the level of humidity to lower than 50%. Avoid drying laundry on radiators as this can increase humidity levels in a room.
Purchasing an air purifier, either a stand alone one or a purifier on your furnace can make a big difference to the allergen levels in your home. Air purifiers filter microscopic pollutants like pollen, bacteria, mold spores and smoke out of the air, making their air that you are breathing in much cleaner and healthier for your lungs.
Here are some other ways to reduce allergens in the home:
- Open the windows to help air out your home and reduce potential allergens.
- Remove flowers and plants. They look beautiful, but pollen may cause hayfever and soil can often harbor mold spores.
- Turn your mattress regularly.
- Avoid wood-burning fireplaces.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom.
- Use fans in the bathroom to reduce moisture levels.
- Use oven fan when cooking.
- Clean bathroom and kitchen fan filers regularly.
- Avoid leaving food out as this can cause mold spores to grow.
- Control pests by repairing and cracks and crevices in which insects can get into your home.
While it can initially take a bit of effort, regularly taking steps to maintain, clean, repair and replace things within your home can make all the difference in reducing allergens in your home.