Allergies affect many of us. Uncontrollable sneezes, scratchy throats, watery eyes – many of us suffer from these annoying allergy symptoms. While medications can help relieve many of them, there are other, natural ways to help rid ourselves of the suffering – beginning with removing irritants from the home. Below are some of the best ways to clear the air in your home and help you during allergy season. But before you do any of these, make sure you visit an allergist to find out exactly what it is that you may be allergic to. There is no point in going to all the work of cleaning out your home if you don't know what you're supposed to be cleaning.
1. Your Room
Once you find out what you are allergic to, start with your bedroom. If you are allergic to dust, you should cover your mattress and pillows with zip-on dust mite covers. This will help you get a good night's sleep, which will help you fight off allergies during the day.
2. Carpet No More
Almost every allergen will get into your carpet, including dust, pollen and pet dander. When you walk across the carpet, the movement will release all of these into the air. If you can, it's suggested you replace the carpet with hardwood or another type of flooring that will not attract so many allergens.
3. Avoid Tracking
To help get rid of outdoor irritants, try laying one doormat outside and one inside. If you don't want to do that, ask visitors to remove their shoes when they enter your home so they don't spread outdoor allergens around.
4. Vacuum Cleaner
Chances are, the vacuum cleaner you are using in your home does not have a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. This means they will catch a lot of allergens that may be in your home. Allergies are annoying so making this investment will be worth it.
5. Air Filters
This one seems obvious but a lot of people forget about changing and cleaning their air filters in their heating and cooling systems on a regular basis. Follow the instructions you were given from the manufacturer on the best times to change the filters. Or call the number on the instruction sheet if you have any questions.
It's hard to think that a small piece of fabric can hold allergens, but they do. If you have fabric curtains, consider switching to blinds or shades. If you love curtains, consider getting ones that are machine-washable so you can clean them on a regular basis and get rid of dust that will accumulate there. You can also remove the dust by vacuuming them with a brush attachment. If you keep your windows open, you will want to clean your curtains more regularly.
Mold is not pretty. Or healthy. With more than 100,000 species of mold on the planet, they are sure to find a way into your home. One of the most popular places for mold is in the bathroom so make sure to clean this area on a regular basis and dry off any areas that collect water. You should also make sure the bathroom area is well ventilated and replace any broken tiles. Because mold can grow behind walls, you should also make sure you recaulk sinks and bathtubs every few years.
8. Forgettable Areas
There are areas in your home that you likely never think about cleaning – such as the area under your kitchen sink. But this is a popular spot for mold growth if pipes are dripping. Make sure you check this area regularly for any leaks and for any mouse droppings and cockroach webs, since bugs can trigger allergies. Keep this area clean and dry to ensure no mold grows here.
Because high humidity can lead to mold growth, it's worth investing in this device, which will tell you your home's moisture levels. If you get readings of above 60 percent in any of your rooms, you will want to purchase a dehumidifier.
10. Testing Kits
If you aren't sure exactly what is causing allergies in your home, you may want to look into getting the Family Air Care Kit. This testing kit will measure levels of mold, dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander in dust samples that are taken from your home. It's worth the money to find out exactly what it is that is causing you and your family to suffer.