5 tips to prevent allergies in the house
Tuesday, July 4, 2017, 6:00 AM - Though allergens like pollen or dust are inescapable outdoors, keeping them at bay or in check when you’re at home is a comparatively easier task.
Of course, it’s near-impossible to keep household allergen levels down to zero, but there are plenty of ways to at least keep them as low as possible.
Here are five tips to keep your home as allergen-free as possible.
Keep the windows closed
This one will hurt for those who most look forward to warmer weather as a chance to get some fresh air in the house, but it’s the easiest way to keep allergens out of your home before they have a chance to accumulate.
If it’s allergy season, rely on your home’s AC for cooling rather than outside breezes, and clean windows and windowsills regularly.
Keep surfaces clear and uncluttered
Allergens can get everywhere, so it’s best that they have fewer places to settle in around the home.
Reduce clutter around the house to keep surfaces as clear as possible, making allergens less likely to accumulate there, and easier to clean as well. When dusting or cleaning, you can reduce your exposure to stirred up allergens by wearing a mask.
You should be doing this regularly anyway, but allergy sufferers in particular should make it a priority at least once a week. For extra effectiveness, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter that traps allergens and other particles rather than spreading it around.
Be sure to use the right attachment when vacuuming carpet or upholstered furniture to draw out as many allergens as possible. In fact, wherever possible, ditch rugs, and consider replacing carpeted areas with hardwood or linoleum, and swapping out upholstered furniture with alternatives covered in leather and other easier-to-clean materials.
Use a HEPA air filter
For allergy sufferers with an eye to prevention, a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter might be your best friend outside of medication.
These filters are specifically designed to trap very small particles in the air, and work a treat on capturing allergens as well as dust. Consider buying an air purifier that uses HEPA filters for your home, particularly in the bedroom.
House plants are your friend
Since NASA’s landmark 1989 Clean Air Study, it’s been commonly accepted that certain kinds of house plants are effective at cleaning particulates out of the air, including allergens.
It can seem counter-intuitive that you can defend against plant pollen with other plants, and indeed, not every kind of indoor plant is suitable. Here’s a more in-depth look at which plants to bring into your home as allies in the fight against allergies.