Is Your House Ready for Allergy Season?
Here are some things you can do to reduce allergens in your home
1. Keep a healthy level of humidity:
- Dust mites and mold love moisture. Keeping humidity around 30 to 50 percent helps keep them and other allergens under control.
- Use an exhaust fan when cooking, running the dishwasher, or bathing.
- Empty catch pans in your dehumidifier.
2. Dust and vacuum frequently:
- Avoid using a dry cloth or feather duster, as they tend to push allergens back into the air. Instead, clean hard surfaces, floors and window shades/blinds weekly with treated dust rags, damp mops or damp rags.
- Hardwood, tile and linoleum are ideal for chronic allergy sufferers, but if a home has carpet, be sure to vacuum carpeted areas weekly. Vacuum and wash rugs regularly as well.
3. Ensure proper ventilation:
- To combat indoor allergies such as mold, dust and animal hair, open your windows and doors and turn on any fans to help blow away allergens.
- If outdoor allergies are a problem, close windows and rely on air conditioning or use pollen proof screens to combat pollen that might come through open windows.
- Change air filters frequently to ensure that your HVAC system efficiently removes contaminates from your indoor air.
- The highest quality filters, called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, can remove almost all particulates and contaminants.
- Install an air purification system.
4. Update and/or cover your bedding:
- Use anti-allergy pillow, mattress and box spring covers on all bedding.
- If you have wool or feather bedding, consider replacing with synthetic materials.
5. Use your air conditioner:
- Cooling systems actually help reduce the pollen count inside the home. Make sure it and your filters are functioning properly
6. Buy indoor plants to freshen the air:
- Certain plants can filter out common violate organic compounds that can cause adverse health effects. NASA conducted a study with the Associated Contractors of America to determine which indoor plants were the most effective at improving indoor air quality. Some of the air-cleaning plants include Aloe plants, Spider plants, Gerber daisies, Chrysanthemums, Ficus, Azaleas and English Ivy
7. Consider an air purification system:
- If you try the above tips and allergies and asthma symptoms still bother you, a whole-home air purification system can help eliminate the allergens and toxins in the home.
Sources: Windstar, www.callwinstar.com and
Petri Plumbing, www.petriplumbing.com
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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