When spring comes, everyone breathes a sigh of relief that the winter chill is finally over. Then, we all start sneezing because spring brings all kinds of allergens with it. You don’t have to suffer through allergy season in a medicated haze. The interior of your home can become a haven from allergies if you clean it correctly. Go after four major allergens: mildew, dust mites, pollen, and pet hair. Your sinuses will thank you for the effort.
Tackle Mildew by Addressing Humidity
Mildew is plain gross; it gives you allergies, looks unpleasant, and smells bad. Mildew loves the humidity, so the damper your house is, the more mildew you’ll grow. Leaks under the kitchen sink and in the basement leave moisture where mildew loves to start growing. High humidity levels in the house will also encourage mildew (and mold) to make a home inside your home. To tackle mildew, start by looking for and sealing any water leaks. Then, address the humid parts of the house, like the basement and the attic, with dehumidifiers. Finally, scrub any existing mildew away with bleach.
Vacuum to Deal With Dust Mites
Dust mites are a fact of life, but you can keep them at a manageable level if you vacuum frequently. Get a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a detachable hose. Once a week, vacuum your home thoroughly, including upholstery like your couches, chairs, and curtains. Additionally, wash your bedding in hot water once a week to kill off the dust mites that have taken up residency there.
Trap Pollen in New HVAC Filters
Image via Flickr by slgckgc
You take your shoes off at the door and don’t open the windows during the spring. Unfortunately, pollen still enters your home. Give your indoor air an extra boost by purchasing HVAC filters that are rated specifically to catch pollen. Higher MERV ratings (the rating of how effective an HVAC filter is) will trap smaller particulates, so look for a 10-13 when you shop. Each time your HVAC system kicks on, instead of blowing pollen through the house, it’ll collect in the filter. Remember to change the filter every month.
Ban Pets From the Bedroom
Sleeping with your pet is often a source of comfort, but it’s also the source of your morning stuffy nose and itchy eyes. Even if you’re not allergic to pets, pollen collects in their fur, and dust mites enjoy munching on pet dander. To keep your bedroom as free of allergens as possible, don’t let the pets come inside. This “pet free zone” will give your sinuses a break. Plus, keeping the bedroom clean is easier when you’re not dealing with pet hair.
Use these techniques throughout the year, not just in spring, to keep your home as allergen-free as possible. Adding an air purifier to your home is another way to clean your air and breathe freely without sniffling. Remember that you have to stay on top of these tasks, or the allergens will start to take over again.