by Courtney Soinski
I have learned from personal experience that it doesn’t take much for my allergies to go haywire at home from the dust and dander that build up at supersonic speed. Admittedly, this is also thanks to a little basset hound/beagle mix by the name of Charlie Bronson getting hair everywhere, as cute as he may be! (picture on right)
Whether you have a pet or not, there is dust-free light at the end of the tunnel! You’re not alone, either – allergies affect more than 20% of Americans. In this post, we’ll go over specific ways to free your home of allergens so you and your family can finally breathe cleaner air. Here are some trusty guidelines to get the allergy proofing started.
1. Lay down doormats.
In each entryway of your home, lay down two doormats – one on the inside and one on the outside. This helps prevent allergens from being tracked inside. Another alternative is to have your family and guests remove their shoes when they enter your home. Otherwise, allergens are just spread around.
2. Upgrade your vacuum cleaner
If you don’t have one already, make sure your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter. These are specifically made to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. Basically, they’ll be able to capture the majority of allergens.
3. Replace air filters
Remember to always clean or replace the air filters in your heating or cooling system as often as required. You can refer to the manufacturers’ instructions regarding when to change them and how often.
4. Beware of mold
Minimizing mold, especially in your bathroom, is one of the most effective ways to lessen allergens. With more than 100,000 species of mold in the world, the last thing you want is for your bathroom to turn into a war zone. Clean regularly and remind yourself to dry off surfaces that collect standing water. Also, it’s important that your bathroom has good ventilation. Every few years, you should replace any broken tiles and re-caulk sinks and tubs. This keep mold from growing behind the walls.
5. Say bye-bye to drapes
Consider switching from curtains to blinds or shades because they hold much fewer allergens. However, if you insist on having drapes, make sure they’re machine washable since those are easier to keep dust-free.
6. Get an air purifier filter
From cooking fumes and cleaning vapors to dust and pet dander, there are so many different types of particles that can pollute the air inside your home. Air purifiers can be very effective in helping reduce allergens in the air, but just make sure you stay away from those producing ozone. We recommend using one with a HEPA filter.
7. Use a hygrometer to measure humidity levels
By investing in a hygrometer, you’ll discover the exact moisture levels in your home. Take a measurement in each room and if the reading is above 60 percent, you may consider using a dehumidifier. High humidity can lead to mold growth, so this is your best tactic to prevent that.
8. Ditch the carpet
Carpet does a great job of trapping in countless allergens, so it’s a good idea to replace your carpeting with hardwood or linoleum flooring. If that’s not an option, use low-pile carpeting instead of high-pile. Be sure to vacuum at least once a week and shampoo your carpet frequently.
Source: Mayo Clinic, This Old House