Allergy sufferers are very familiar with the itchy, watery eyes, stuffy nose and sneezing caused by seasonal allergens such as pollen, ragweed and grass. Some of the more severe allergy symptoms include coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing along with a tightening in the chest. However, if your symptoms never seem to go away even when allergy season is over, the culprit may be poor indoor air quality.
Indoor allergens include mold, mildew, dust mites and pet dander. It’s impossible to completely eliminate all of these allergens from your home but you can reduce the way they impact your life by improving your indoor air quality.
Here’s how to reduce allergens in your home:
- Eliminate dust – Dust furniture and wash curtains and throw pillows often to remove any allergens that may have settled on them. Vacuum the carpets, sofa and any other cloth furnishings regularly to keep the allergens from building up on them.
- Invest in a quality HVAC unit – A good heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit will keep you comfortable throughout the different seasons but that’s not all. The ventilation system helps to reduce the growth of mold and mildew that make allergy symptoms worse. It works by regulating the temperature and keeping the humidity levels within an acceptable range and using HEPA filters will help to keep the air in your home fresh and clean. If you don’t have a HVAC unit, use a good quality purifier or air filter to help clean the air.
- Keep your home clutter free – Clutter makes it easy for dust mites and other allergens to collect in hard to reach places that take more time and effort to clean. As a result, clutter contributes to poor air quality.
- Take steps to keep outdoor allergens out of your home – Keep your windows closed, change your clothing and shower after spending time outside during allergy season. Allergens settle on your clothing, shoes, hair and any exposed area of your skin when you go outside and the wind can blow them inside when your windows are open. However, these simple steps can help keep allergens out and prevent spreading them throughout your home.
- Use natural cleaning supplies – Many conventional cleaning products contain chemicals and other ingredients that can actually pollute the air inside your home. For example, the chemicals found in heavily perfumed air fresheners tend to linger in the air long after the scent is gone, making your allergy symptoms even worse.
- Perform regular maintenance on your home – Keeping your home in good shape and making repairs as needed will help reduce the amount of allergens found inside your home. A well maintained home is free of pest, mold, mildew and other problems that contribute to poor air quality.
- Wash bedding and curtains regularly. Allergens float through the air and settle on anything they come in contact with, including blankets, pillowcases and other bedding. When the blankets are moved around it stirs up the allergens and they float through the air where you breathe them in.
The air inside your home can become stale and filled with pollutants very quickly if you don’t take steps to keep it clean. In fact, the air inside your home can contain more pollutants and allergens than what is found outside but the tips above can help. Once the air is fresh and clean, your allergy symptoms should begin to improve.