What is the best way to help alleviate springtime 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. Figure Out 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 is a little fresh air blowing through your home. 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? Here are some common triggers for most people:
- Cat and dog dander
- Tree, grass, and weed pollen
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
2. Get Rid of Standing Water
Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mold and other things that can cause allergies. If you have mold allergies, make sure to check your house for leaking or other sources of standing water.
3. Trap the Dust
The common duster just pushes dust into the air, which means it’s still in the house and ready for you to breathe in. For more effective dusting, use a damp cloth or paper towel to traps the dust instead.
4. Make Sure all Surfaces Are Dust Free
Dust builds up in virtually every part of your home. Some of the most common offenders include window sills, window frames, door frames, and ceiling fans.
5. Don’t Use Strong & Scented Chemicals
Believe it or not, these “cleaners” can actually make your allergies worse. Consider trading some out for more natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda.
6. Keep Your House Cool & Dry
Try to keep the house at 50% relative humidity or lower. This will make your home less of a habitable for dust mites and mold spores.
7. Wash or Buy New 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. Take Out the 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. Keep Your Bed Linens Clean
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.