Summer is finally in the air! Unfortunately, so are dust, pollen, and other common allergens. Allergies can sometimes feel like an unavoidable and miserable aspect of warmer weather that follows you both in and out of doors. There are, however, ways to mitigate allergy symptoms by limiting your exposure to allergens indoors. Check out Annadel Builders Inc. top tips for allergy-proofing your home!
- Change your bedding – Among the most common indoor allergens are dust mites—microscopic bugs living on mattresses, bedding, carpets, and curtains. Keep their population in check by choosing washable pillowcase dust covers and cleaning them at least once a week in 130 °F water. Consider also replacing wool or feather bedding with synthetic materials.
- Clean your house regularly – Vacuum with a small particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter about once every week. Shampoo carpet regularly, and dust with a microfiber or electrostatic cloth that picks up dust instead of dispersing it through the air. Avoid making your allergies worse while cleaning by using an N95 mask.
- Avoid pet dander – Unfortunately, no pet breed is inherently allergy-free, and pet dander and saliva are another common culprit of allergic reactions. While bathing your pets regularly helps mitigate exposure, the best policy for severe allergies is avoidance. Limit high level exposure and make sure to always wash your hands with soap and water after petting animals you are allergic to. Some pets are more friendly to allergy-sufferers than others, including birds, fish, and hamsters, and certain breeds such as poodles and Portuguese water dogs for dog lovers, or Cornish Rex and Balinese for the cat fans!
- Avoid carpeting – Avoid carpeting your home as much as possible. Known to store dust, mites, and pet dander, carpet is notoriously difficult to both clean and replace. Instead, opt for easier-to-clean hardwood or tile flooring and washable area rugs.
- Monitor temperature and humidity levels – Hot and humid houses generate both dust mites and mold. Maintain cooler indoor temperatures (between 68-72 °F) and humidity levels below 50% with a portable or in-built dehumidifying system.
- Plants – With plenty of organic material, mild household temperatures, and frequent watering, potting soil is a prime location for mold growth, which is a common respiratory irritant. Remove mold by placing the affected plants outside where plenty of sunlight and airflow have the opportunity to kill the mold spores. If this doesn’t work, carefully scrape mold from the soil surface while wearing a protective face mask, then use a rag and diluted dish detergent solution to individually wipe the plant clean. Finally, if none of this does the trick, you may need to sterilize the containers and completely repot your plants with fresh soil.
- Windows – Keep windows closed and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Regularly clean mold and condensation in the window frames and sills with diluted bleach solution. Allow the solution to kill all mold spores by sitting for up to 15 minutes before drying.
- Air filtration – Select a small-particle or HEPA air filter that you regularly replace. Adjust the air flow so that, if possible, clean air is always directed towards you as you sleep.