Outdoor allergies are unavoidable to a certain extent, as you can’t filter the air you’re breathing in a park or walking down the street. However, indoor allergy symptoms could be lessened or eliminated by allergy-proofing your home. Here are some of the easiest ways to get started and feel better in the house.
Remove Mold and Mold Spores
Many people have mold allergies, and mold can spread quickly throughout homes due to moisture in the bathroom and kitchen. To avoid mold growth and eliminate existing colonies:
- Limit the number of indoor plants you have, as warm, damp soil is an ideal environment for mold growth
- Clean the bathroom and kitchen regularly
- Avoid leaving clothing in the washing machine after the cycle is complete
- Maintain stable humidity levels and temperatures as mold flourishes in a warm, wet environment
- Use the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans when showering and cooking
Remove Dust When Allergy-Proofing Your Home
Dust naturally accumulates over time in every house, and it will attract microscopic dust mites. Many people have allergies to dust mites, so eliminating dust is one way to start allergy-proofing your home. Unlike seasonal pollen allergies, dust allergies are aggravated throughout the year. To get rid of dust around the house:
- Use gloves and a mask when cleaning.
- Wash curtains, blinds, pillows, and other textiles regularly to kill dust mites.
- Invest in metal, leather, and wood furniture that resists dust mite activity when allergy-proofing your home.
- Choose a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to remove dirt, dust, and other debris.
- Purchase pillow covers and a mattress cover that is dust-mite resistant.
Remove Pollen from the House
Pollen counts increase in the spring and summer, and you might introduce it into your house as you go outside and come inside, open the windows, or pets come indoors. Pollen allergies are common and can be severe even if you attempt to self-treat them with allergy medication. To remove pollen as you are allergy-proofing your home:
- Avoid opening the windows and use fans to circulate fresh air instead.
- Change clothing or take a shower when you come inside after being outdoors.
- Use a HEPA air filter for your HVAC system and change the filter once a month.
- Place a doormat at every entrance to your home and never wear your shoes inside, as this can track pollen onto carpeting and surfaces where it is more difficult to remove.
Cleaning and Allergy-Proofing Your Home
In addition to the tips above for limiting specific types of allergens, you must clean your home regularly. If you have a pet, give them baths at least once a week. Change your sheets regularly so that dead skin cells and dust mites don’t irritate you while sleeping. Finally, have allergy testing performed if you are unsure of what is causing your symptoms.