Struggling with allergies? Use these tips to help you reduce allergens in your home and reduce your allergy symptoms naturally.
Does it seem like every allergy season your allergies get worse? You aren’t imagining it, they are. One contributing factor is climate change.
“Increasing carbon dioxide levels lead to increased levels of the proteins in pollen that cause allergies, according to Demain, who is part of the Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center of Alaska.”- ABC News
This means more people are suffering and those that already suffered from allergies are feeling increased symptoms. There are some things you can do around your home to help elevate these symptoms.
Allergens can hide all over our homes. The main sources of indoor allergens are:
- Soft furniture
- Damp areas
- Indoor plants
You don’t have to ditch these items to reduce allergens in your home but it’s good to know the areas to target your efforts on. If you do suffer from severe allergies or asthma you may want to reduce the number of the above items but it’s not your only option.
How to Reduce Allergens in Your Home
Dust and Vacuum Often
Allergens can build up in dust and being sure to dust and vacuum often, at least once or twice a week, can help a lot. You also want to be sure you are properly dusting and vacuuming.
Always dust before you vacuum so that any dust that is knocked onto the floor is vacuumed up. It’s also best to use a damp cloth or at least a microfiber duster that is designed to trap the dust. Some dusters can just spread the dust around instead of actually picking it up.
You also want to make sure you have a good vacuum. Some poor quality vacuums just put dust into the air and can make allergies and asthma worse.
Look for vacuums that use HEPA filters and are CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®. These vacuums are tested to make sure they prevent dust and allergens from going back into the air.
For those with severe allergies or asthma consider wearing a dust mask while cleaning.
Wash Bedding Often
Dust mites are a big concern when it comes to allergies and they are common in bedrooms. They feed on our dead skin cells and love the habit created in our warm beds.
To keep dust mite numbers down you should wash your sheets at least once a week on the hottest setting your fabric can handle and when picking out new bedding keep this in mind and pick fabrics that allow for hot wash cycles.
You should also use allergy-resistant covers on your mattress and pillows. Those should also be washed frequently with hot water. Once a month is a good recommendation for this. While you have the mattress cover off be sure to vacuum and clean your mattress as well.
Wash other bedding like comforters, pillows, dust ruffles, etc.. several times a year. If you have severe allergies in your home consider doing this more often.
Control Dust Mites Throughout Your Home
While dust mites, unfortunately, love our bedrooms they are found all over our homes including in carpet, soft furniture, drapes, and stuff toys.
If possible avoid wall-to-wall carpet. If you must have carpet low-pile or rugs you can wash are best. Especially in the bedroom where we spend a lot of our time.
Avoid heavy drapes and choose blinds or washable curtains instead and then wash these often at the hottest temperature allowed by the fabric.
Wash stuffed toys and uncovered pillows in 130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter water often, once a week is best. It’s also best to dry them in the dryer on the hot cycle
Change Your Furnace Filter
You should be changing your furnace filter often. The average recommendation is every 90 days but if you have a pet at least every 60 days. If you have allergies monthly is best.
Avoid Mold Spores
Reducing moisture is an important step to prevent mold spores in your home. Here are some ways to reduce mold:
- Reduce your shower time and don’t run it while not using it.
- Use dehumidifiers to keep humidity low in your home.
- Monitor your humidity. Many thermostats now offer this option or you can buy a monitor.
- Fix any leaks right away.
- Limit house plants.
- If you see mold clean it immediately.
- Use a mold preventive in the shower.
- Run your A/C during warm weather.
Cockroaches can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. Ironically, many of the chemicals used to prevent them can also irritate your sinuses and trigger asthma.
To avoid cockroaches don’t leave food or garbage uncovered and clean up well after preparing food. Use boric acid or traps instead of harsh chemicals. Bay leaves have also been shown to help prevent cockroaches naturally.
Take a Shower and Change Clothes After Being Outdoors
If you suffer from seasonal allergies and have been outdoors it’s a good idea to shower, and wash your hair when you come back inside.
Pollen can build upon us and our clothing and showering and changing our clothes can help prevent it from building up in our homes.
It’s also best to shower before bed to prevent bring allergens into your bed at night.
Use an Air Purifier
A good air purifier can also help improve the air quality in your home. Look for one that is CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®.
You may not need to run these all year but be sure to use them when your allergies are at their worst. If you know what your allergies are you can watch pollen counts in your area and start running it when the pollen you are allergic to starts to rise.