What is the best way to help alleviate allergies?
There is no better time to work on alleviating allergies than during spring cleaning. Allergens tend to lurk around your house, worsening your allergy symptoms. We’ve got ten great tips for fighting back against allergies!
1. Know Your Triggers!
Your first job is to learn which allergens trigger your symptoms. Indoor and outdoor allergens are different and therefore require different reactions. For indoor allergens like pet hair, dust, and mold, open your windows! Sometimes all you need to do is air out your house. However, for outdoor allergens like grass or tree pollen, close your windows in order to keep them out.
Don’t know what’s causing your allergies? Check out these common triggers:
- Cat and dog dander
- Tree, grass, and weed pollen
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
2. Eliminate Standing Water
Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mold and other bacteria. If you have mold allergies, make sure to check your house for leaking or other sources of standing water.
3. Don’t Move Dust Around. Trap it!
The common duster just pushes dust into the air, making you more likely to breathe it in. For more effective dusting, use a damp cloth or paper towel to traps the dust instead.
4. Clear Dust from All Surfaces
Dust builds up in places you don’t always think about. Some of the most common offenders include window sills, window frames, door frames, and ceiling fans.
5. Avoid Strong or Scented Chemicals
Believe it or not, these can actually make your allergies worse. Consider trading some out for more natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda.
6. Keep the House Dry and Cool
Try to keep the house at 50% relative humidity or lower. This will make your home less of a haven for dust mites and mold spores.
7. Replace or Wash Shower Curtains
Allergies can trigger from the mold in your shower and also spread throughout your house. This is especially true during warmer months. Give the tag on your shower curtain a look! You can likely throw it in the wash and then hang it back up to dry. Do your best to decrease moisture and humidity in your bathroom to prevent mold growth in the future.
8. Remove Trapped Allergens
Things in your home such as carpet, rugs, and upholstered furniture all act as air filters for your home. These should be vacuumed at least weekly. Ideally they should be cleaned professionally every 3-4 months. If it’s been a little while since you’ve had your carpets and furniture cleaned, call in the experts to handle them for you. Click here to find your local Chem-Dry!
9. Clean Bed Linens Frequently
Professionals recommend that you wash your bedding every 1-2 weeks minimum. Your bed sheets collect dust, dead skin, and more to create a perfect environment for dust mites. If you find that your allergies get worse at night, cleaning your mattress and pillows could do wonders.
10. Change HVAC Filters Regularly
Remember to change your filter every 6-12 months. If you have severe allergies, change your filters every 90 days. Check to see that your MERV rating is set correctly. The majority of homes use filters rated between 7-12. Keep in mind that a higher MERV rating is not always better. A rating that’s too high can actually reduce airflow, which makes things worse. It won’t hurt to conduct some research on your own system to find the highest rating that still retains maximum airflow.