It’s allergy season. If you suffer from allergies and/or hay fever, reduce allergens in your home, especially during spring and summer when grasses and pollen are most active.
Take Care of Those Allergy Triggers
Naturally, you should see a doctor if you have allergies. However, these steps can reduce your symptoms, regardless of whether you are undergoing treatment, such as shots or medication. Map out the problem areas in your house or apartment and clean/reorganize accordingly.
Your bedroom is perhaps the most important room to allergy-proof in the house. Use dust-mite proof covers for your pillows, mattresses and box springs, and wash all bedding at least one time per week in hot water (preferably 130 F). Use synthetic materials rather than wool or feathered bedding.
Use a vented exhaust fan to reduce moisture around your stove and reduce the possibility of mold. Other mold reduction tips include wiping excessive moisture out of your refrigerator, throwing away outdated food, cleaning cabinets and counters regularly and storing food in sealed containers.
Use an exhaust fan to reduce moisture during baths and showers. Again, use tile, vinyl or linoleum in favor of carpet. If you have wallpaper, remove it as it can attract mold. Instead, use tile, or paint the walls with mold-resistant enamel paint. Clean tub regularly and scrub mold from plumbing fixtures.
See tips on flooring below. Use a dehumidifier to reduce dampness (clean it once a week) and check for and repair any sources of leaks or water damage. Store your collectibles and clothes in plastic storage bins.
General Household Tips
Here are some tips that can be applied to all areas of your house or apartment.
Hardwood floors are an allergy sufferer’s best friend. If you have carpet, opt for hardwood or linoleum. Or use washable area rugs. If you can’t remove your carpet, vacuum each week with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filer. Shampoo the carpet often (and have the carpet professionally cleaned periodically).
Curtains and Blinds
Choose plain cotton or synthetic fabric curtains that are washable. Use washable roller shades rather than horizontal blinds. If you already have horizontal blinds, replace them. Roller shades are much easier to clean, and can even be a DIY project. If your shades are made from fabric, simply remove them and wash them in your machine. Clean vinyl roller shades every two weeks with a well-wrung cloth or sponge dipped in a solution of mild dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water and wipe it in sections. Leave the shades fully extended to dry.
During pollen season, use your air conditioning rather than opening your windows. This small step will keep many allergens from entering your home. Also be sure to remove mold and condensation from your window frames and window sills (we offer mold remediation as well, for those jobs that require a professional).
Buy dressers, chairs and other furniture that is made of wood, leather or plastic. Upholstered furniture is not good for allergy sufferers. Upholstery traps allergens in its fibers, making it hard to remove.
Clean your house frequently. Don’t allow dust collectors (books, magazines, children’s toys, etc) to pile up on the floor. Store stuffed animals and other heavy dust collectors in plastic bins.
Depending on your allergy type, you may be better off finding a new home for your pet. Or keeping your dog or cat outside. If you have pet allergies and neither of those options is viable, keep animals out of your bedroom and bathe them once a week to reduce allergens in their dander.
Find an air filter with small-particle or HEPA filtering, and adjust it so it directs clean air toward your head while you sleep. Set calendar reminders to change the filters every month.
Contact Intek for Cleaning Needs
Intek can help you with cleaning and allergy-proofing your house. We’ve been consistently voted the number one Local Best in the Sioux Falls area for carpet cleaning, water & fire damage restoration and duct cleaning since 2007. We also offer mold remediation and other services. Feel free to contact us for all cleaning needs.