By Jamell Andrews
Before popping yet another allergy tablet, consider reducing your exposure to allergens in your home. Just a few simple steps can help you and your family breathe better and keep allergy symptoms and asthma from flaring up.
The following are ways that you can reduce the allergens in your home, naturally.
Choosing synthetic pillows and comforters over feathered or wool bedding and covering pillows, box springs and mattresses with dust-mite-proof covers can go a long way in helping allergies. You should also wash all of your bedding weekly in water heated to at least 130 F to keep allergens at bay.
Enforce a no-shoes policy
We sometimes feel bad asking guests to remove their shoes when they come over, but outdoor shoes can track in dust, pollen, and other allergens. Ask everyone coming into your home to remove their shoes. You can make it more convenient by having a large doormat ready and even a basket of slippers for guests. Opt for washable doormats and slippers so you can wash them regularly.
Choose green cleaning products
The harsh chemicals and perfumes in many cleaning products can trigger allergies. Opt for green cleaning products instead that are made using natural ingredients and use them regularly to help keep dust and mold at bay.
Check for leaks
Even a small leak can cause mold to form over time. Check your pipes for leaks and have any leaks repaired to avoid excess moisture that can lead to mold. Look for leaks around faucets and under bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Cracks in your homes foundation or broken window seals should also be repaired to help keep moisture and mold away.
Stay on top of crumbs
Crumbs and other food waste can attract rodents, cockroaches and other pests that can wreak havoc on allergies. Keep your kitchen free of crumbs by wiping counters, washing dishes, and putting out the trash regularly. Don’t forget to regularly vacuum other areas where crumbs can fall, such as the couch and under the dining table.
Vacuum more than just your carpet
Carpet and rugs aren’t the only things you should be vacuuming regularly; upholstered furniture and curtains can also house dust, dust mites and even pollen. Wash curtains and slipcovers regularly and vacuum couches, chairs, and even drapery in between washes to help keep allergens out of your home.
Bathe your pets weekly
Keep pet dander to a minimum by bathing pets weekly. Keeping your pets out of the bedroom can also help you better control your allergies and lessen symptoms.
Close your windows
As wonderful as fresh air can be, having your windows open during pollen season can make allergies unbearable. Keep your windows closed and opt for air conditioning when the weather gets hot to help keep your comfortable and keep pollen out.
Proper ventilation in your home is key for controlling allergens in your home. Dryers should vent outside, as should stove and bathroom exhaust fans and vents. Check your attic to ensure that plumbing vents actually vent outdoors as opposed to into your attic space as this can cause mold.
Change or clean your filters
Heating and cooling system filters should be changed regularly so that they work effectively and minimize the amount of allergens in your home. Regularly cleaning vacuum and dehumidifier filters is also important.
Regular cleaning, not allowing smoking indoors, and using an air purifier will also go a long way in reducing allergens naturally.