How to Make an “Allergy-Free” Home

By staff

Here is a home improvement project that will make life more comfortable at home. Read on for tips on how to keep your home “allergy-free.”

Common airborne allergens in our home include pollen (tree, weed, and grass), dust mites, mold, and animal dander. If you often have a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, sore throat and hoarseness, surely you are allergic to something in your home.

How to Keep Out Pollens. Airborne pollens enter our homes unintentionally and trigger allergies. Keep windows closed, and use air-conditioning. When pollen counts are highest between 5:00 to 10:00 AM, stay indoors. Use HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration, especially in your bedroom. Pollens can cling to fabrics if left outdoors, so dry laundry indoors in an automatic dryer. Once you get home, take a shower and rinse off pollens from your hair and skin. Keep pets off your bed and furniture, and make sure they are washed often. Mow grass before it grows tall, so it doesn’t produce seed heads and pollen. Remove weeds from your yard before they have a chance to pollinate.

How to Control Dust Mites.  Minimize the clutter and store books and other items in closed cabinets. Use zippered allergen impermeable covers for your pillows, mattress, and box spring. Wash all beddings every two weeks in hot water. For your flooring, get rid of your carpets and opt for hard surfaces such as hardwood, vinyl, and tiles. For your window covering, throw out thick curtains and heavy draperies, and instead use window shades or light fabrics that are easy to clean.

How to Prevent Growth of Molds. Molds grow best in humid and damp areas in the house such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. They may grow in isolated areas of the house but they release airborne spores that float to other parts of the house to grow. Molds grow in closets, refrigerator drip trays, air conditioners, washing machines, under-sink cabinets, garbage pails, mattresses, foam pillows, attics, carpets, and upholstery. For prevention, control the humidity and clean your air conditioners regularly. Store your food properly. Wash shower curtains, scrub bathroom tiles and grout regularly, and use exhaust fans in your bathroom to reduce humidity.

How to Manage Pet Allergens.  Animal dander is not our pet’s hair or fur; it is the old skin scales that dogs shed regularly, and it is the proteins in our cat’s dried saliva, sweat, and urine that cause allergies. These float around the home and attach to walls, windows, and furniture. First, consider keeping your pet. But if you cannot let go of the emotional bond, then the next best thing is to try to reduce the allergens. Wash your pet regularly. Keep your pet out of the bedroom also. Train your pet to sleep outside by creating a comfortable nook for them to sleep and eat. Use ample ventilation, and have a source of fresh air so that animal dander won’t be contained inside the house. Use a HEPA filtration system.  Remove all forms of carpeting or fabric covered furniture, and instead opt for leather or vinyl covers that can be cleaned easily.

There will never be a house that is totally allergy-free. However, by reducing the factors that allow allergens to thrive inside the house, we can minimize the situations that would normally trigger our allergies.

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