Are you sneezing your little heart out, watery-eyed, and scratchy-throated? It sounds like you could be suffering from allergies, just like more than 30% of the American population. While medications can help to alleviate symptoms, it can also really help to try to banish allergens from your home. After all, if the offending micro-particles aren’t present, your body hasn’t got anything to fight against. Of course, there are many different allergens, but the common home-based ones include dust-mites, pet hair, pollen, and mold spores. If you have asthma, you may find that these allergens can worsen your existing respiratory problems, so banishing them from your home can make a big difference to your quality of life. If you think you might have some airborne allergies, or someone in your family does, here are a few ways to allergy-proof your home.
Use dust mite proof coverings
Considering your spend eight hours a night in the comfort and coziness of your bed (hopefully), it’s one of the worst places for allergens to gather. The environment is perfect for dust mites to gather, breed, and party among themselves as they enjoy a warm and slightly damp environment - ew. Using dust mite proof coverings for your mattress, duvet, and pillow can really help to make the environment inhospitable for them, hopefully guaranteeing yourself an improved night’s sleep.
Wash fabrics at a high heat
Not only do dust mites gather in the fabrics of your couch, bedding, and carpets, but pollen and mold spores tend to join them. This system of capturing particles means that your home can end up containing a higher number of allergens than the outside world. One of the ways to beat this is by washing fabrics at a high heat, especially regularly throughout the summer. This will kill and remove any allergens, especially dust mites. Using synthetic fabrics can help to minimize this capturing process - cotton and wool are pretty great at catching and keeping hold of allergens, whereas synthetic fabrics aren’t quite so good.
Forgo the rugs
Just like the fabrics of your soft furnishings, rugs are like a party town for dust mites and pet hairs, meaning they’re definitely going to make your allergies worse. Introducing hardwood or laminated floors throughout the home, instead of carpet and rugs, can make a huge difference. Not only does it make it less hospitable for dust, but it’s also far easier to remove the offending particles. Using a brush and dustpan is fine, but if you want to go all out, and air compressor and nozzle will remove dust and pet hairs from tiny crevices, making it easy to remove almost all traces from your home. When choosing the best portable air compressor, consider the various ways you’ll use it around the home, from removing dust from under the bed, to blasting cobwebs in the garage, to even painting the fence. For someone suffering from allergies, an air compressor can be a great addition to your cleaning regime.
Keep windows closed
Obviously, pollen tends to come in from the outside in order to get up your nose and flare up your allergies. Keeping the windows closed and the air conditioning on throughout the summer can make a significant difference. If you can allow your home to become a safe haven away from allergens, you are able to give your body a break from the barrage.
Keep bedrooms free from animals
For many people who suffer airborne allergies, either from dust mites or pollen, animal hair can actually exacerbate these conditions. If you have pets, try to encourage them to stay out of the bedroom to allow you an area which is free from allergens and irritations. Encouraging them to stay off all soft furnishings and only rest in their own allocated bed is also a great way to keep exposure to a minimum, but it depends whether your heart can take the big puppy-dog eyes when they want to join you on the couch.
If there is ever a piece of advice which is great across the board, it’s decluttering your home. Not only does it help to clear the mind and allow all the beauty of minimalism to shine through, but it also gives dust mites less surface area to call home. Anything which doesn’t need to be out should be stored in airtight bins to keep dust at bay, and anything that is on display should be regularly dusted to avoid build up and keep dust mite parties to a minimum.
Use plants to filter air
An air purifier is a great way to rid the air of airborne allergens, but did you know that plants are pretty great filters too? Obviously, if you suffer from hayfever you’re probably going to want to avoid flowering plants at all costs, but a bit of green foliage can go a long way. And not only do they remove allergens and toxins from your home, but they pump out lovely fresh oxygen, and add a splash of color and texture to the room as a bonus. Houseplants really are the way forward.
Clean AC filters
Dirty HVAC filters are like hotels for dust mites, mold spores, and pollen - just not the sort of hotels that you’d want to visit. March and April are a great time to get them cleaned before summer kicks in, and once they’re in a great condition they’ll help to inhibit circulation of these allergens around your home, and they’ll become far less hospitable for mold as well, so it’s well worth spending a bit of money on making sure it’s done properly.
Keep the home dry
Mold and dust mites love slightly damp environments, so keeping them banished from the home is about making the home a less attractive place for them to live. Installing extraction vents in both the kitchen and bathroom to encourage moisture to leave the home is one of the best ways of keeping these at bay. It might cost a bit, but when the home is less damp and the allergens are less prevalent, you’ll be glad you did.
Allergy-proofing the home is about making it an environment which does not support some allergens, and keeping others out altogether. A good cleaning regime is the key, especially in the warmer months.