Over time, bothersome allergens can build up in your home, including dust, pollen, and mold. These allergens can irritate your throat, make your eyes water, provoke a bout of sneezing, and pretty much make your life miserable. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to reduce the amount of allergens in your home.
These tips can drastically reduce or even get rid of allergens in your home, helping to relieve your allergy symptoms.
Determine What Is Causing Your Allergies
Start by determining what substances you are actually allergic to. You can do this by visiting an allergist. The allergist will run a series of tests to try and determine whether you are allergic to pet dander, dust, mold, pollen, or a combination of these common irritants.
Use a Home Testing Kit
To start the process of reducing the allergens in your home, start by determining exactly which ones are present. You can do this by using an air testing kit. The kit measures the level of mold dust and other allergens in your home. That way you can focus on reducing the allergens causing you problems.
Deal With Your Bedroom First
A good place to start with reducing the allergens in your home is in your bedroom, especially if dust is one of the substances you are allergic to. To reduce the occurrence of dust mites, which can cause asthma, cover your mattress and pillows with zip-on covers designed to reduce dust mites.
Change Out Your Air Filters
You should also change your air filters on a regular basis. When you should change them out depends in large part on if you have pets or not. Homeowners with pets should change out the air filters in their home once every 30 to 60 days, depending on the number of pets. Households without pets should change out their filters at least every 90 days.
Install Blinds or Shades
Another step you can take to reduce allergens in your home is to change out your drapes for blinds or shades. Blinds and shades trap fewer allergy-causing substances than fabric drapes do. If curtains are a must, then get machine-washable curtains, and make sure to vacuum them using the brush attachment at least once a week.
Use Door Mats
To keep you and your family from tracking in allergens from outdoors, use multiple mats with your outside doorways. Start by placing a doormat on the outside of the door. This allows anyone entering the home to wipe off their feet before coming inside. In addition, place a doormat inside the front door to further help with allergen levels. Finally, have everyone remove their shoes upon coming inside.
Try Changing Your Vacuum
When buying a vacuum for your home, look for one that has a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can trap allergy-causing particles as small as 0.3 microns. In addition to using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, make sure to replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to help keep your home free of allergens.
Protect Against Mold
Reduce the presence of mold in your home by cleaning the bathroom frequently. Also, make sure to repair leaks or clean up any spills as soon as possible. Another step you can take to reduce mold is to replace any broken tiles in the bathroom and recaulk around your bathroom sinks and tubs occasionally to keep mold from growing behind your bathroom walls.
Use In-Room Air Filters
You can also take the extra step of placing an in-room air filter in rooms that you use the most. These portable filters can further reduce the allergen count in the air, making it much easier to breath. Also, make sure any portable air filter you buy does not produce ozone, as this gas can irritate your allergies as well.
Install Exhaust Fans
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If you can replace your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans with true exhaust fans that channel the air outside, you should do so. Otherwise, the air usually goes into the attic and promotes the growth of mold, which can spread to the rest of your home.