It’s the time of year that allergy sufferers dread: spring (and summer!). While everyone else looks forward to spending time outside in the warm temperatures, allergy sufferers look forward to all the symptoms that come with seasonal allergies: sneezing, wheezing, runny noses, and congestion. There is hope for relief from those annoying symptoms: use these tips to make your home as much of a “hay allergy free” zone as possible.
Designate an area where you can remove the allergens.
Allergens stick to your clothes; that’s why pet-free homes inevitably have pet dander in the ducts. To keep seasonal allergens out of your home, choose a room where you can leave your clothes (a mud room or laundry room) as soon as you walk in the house. Launder your clothes as soon as possible to keep yourself from sneezing and wheezing.
Choose your vacuum carefully.
To pick up any allergens that make it into your home, buy an allergy sensitive vacuum. Choose a vacuum with a HEPA filter or double bag to ensure that you can vacuum the allergens that do come into your house away.
Thoroughly clean all your hard floors.
Allergens are everywhere, even on your hardwood and tile floors. Use these tips to get your wood floors deep cleaned (or hire the pros to give you a thorough clean without causing any damage).
Clean your ducts.
As the old saying goes, “what comes around, goes around.” If you have a forced air system, any allergens that come in continually re-circulate though your home’s air ducts every time your heat or air conditioner runs. Contact a professional duct cleaning company to rid your ducts, and your indoor air, of all those annoyingly common indoor allergens.
Select your furnace filter carefully.
Your furnace filter should be replaced every few months. Cheaper air filters trap dust, a common allergen, but not much beyond that. If you have allergies, purchase a furnace filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) next time you shop. Furnace filters with high MERVs do not allow finer particles to pass, effectively removing allergens from the air. If you choose a filter with a high MERV (the max is 16), contact a HVAC professional because these filters can put too much pressure on your furnace fan and possibly damage your furnace.
Give your carpets a professional deep clean.
It’s incredibly tempting to head to your local store and rent a carpet cleaner to rid your home of any outdoor allergens. If you want to completely purge your home of allergens, take your carpet cleaning a step farther: contact a professional carpet cleaner. A professional carpet cleaning goes above and beyond a regular vacuum or a rental carpet cleaner. A professional carpet cleaner removes allergens and dirt from your carpets. To make sure you’re regularly removing the allergens, set a regular carpet cleaning schedule annually or biannually.
Keep your home’s humidity low.
Rooms with a humidity level above 50 percent can breed mold, mildew and dust mites, making you sneeze inside—adding to your misery after sneezing outside from your hay allergies. Use a humidistat to monitor your room’s humidity level. If your humidity level is above 50%, use a dehumidifier to lower your home’s humidity.