It’s no secret that many people suffer from allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 50 million people suffer from allergies. That equates to around 15% of the population.
Another fact about allergies is they are the 6th leading cause of chronic illnesses in the United States. If you experience flare-ups from airborne allergies, you’re likely reading this blog post because you’ve noticed certain things in and around your home worsen the issue.
While not an exhaustive list, the following hints, and tips can help you create a living space that isn’t likely to cause your allergies to flare up, especially during certain times of the year. Here is what you need to know:
Get Rid Of Any Unwanted Furniture
One of the reasons people’s airborne allergies get exacerbated indoors is because dirt and dust particles, among other items, end up on lots of surfaces that seldom get cleaned regularly.
That’s why it can make sense to remove any unwanted furniture and other items from your home. Of course, you don’t need to get rid of everything and live in a bare shell (unless that type of interior look interests you!).
Just remove furniture and anything that is always hanging around, but you never use and don’t find particularly useful. You could give away those items, or you could have a garage sale or sell them online through eBay and Facebook Marketplace, for example.
Remove Rugs and Carpets
As you might expect, rugs and carpets are excellent traps for dust and dirt particles, among other things. Some people assume that regularly cleaning or shampooing rugs and carpets is ideal for keeping allergen levels low.
What you might be shocked to learn is that it can actually increase dust mite activity. What’s more, rugs and carpets that get deep cleaned with shampoo or detergents don’t always dry properly. As a result, mold spores can grow within the fibers.
The best solution to that problem is by removing all rugs and carpets from your home and sticking with vinyl, tile, or hardwood floors. Those alternative flooring types are easier to clean and significantly reduces the chances of allergens hanging around for a long time.
If you feel worried that your home will be pretty cold during the winter months due to having no rugs or carpets, the good news is you can have underfloor heating installed. It’s a type of heating system you could even install yourself if you’re good at DIY.
Otherwise, you could have a contractor install underfloor heating for you. Brands such as Warmup offer an array of underfloor heating solutions for homes of all sizes, so you’re bound to find the best setup for your needs.
Wash Your Bed Sheets Weekly
Are you someone that will admit to only washing their bed sheets no sooner than once a month? If so, you need to up your game and wash your bed sheets every week or weekend. Mattresses and pillows are two common surfaces where airborne allergens settle.
If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, you might find the reason isn’t down to an uncomfortable mattress, pillows, or the ambient temperature in your bedroom. The problem is most likely due to allergens like dust close to your nose as you rest.
Thankfully, washing your bedsheets each week is an excellent way to decrease the number of allergens that you breathe in each night. When you wash your bedsheets, ensure you do so at temperatures of at least 130° F or 60° C.
Such high temperatures are perfect for killing any dust mites that have made themselves home on your bed linen.
Purify Your Air
So far, you’ve taken plenty of steps to keep allergen levels to a minimum in your home. But have you done anything about purifying the air that circulates within your home? If the answer is no, now is the time to do something about that.
Simply opening your windows and allowing air from outdoors to circulate in your rooms isn’t enough. You need to take some steps to ensure the air that does circulate is as pure as possible and doesn’t contain many allergens.
There are many products on the market that you can buy, such as Molekule. In an interview with Molekule CEO Jaya Rao, Forbes describes how Molekule is a product that uses PECO technology to eradicate VOCs (volatile organic compounds), viruses, and bacteria in the air.
PECO, in case you never heard of it, stands for photoelectrochemical oxidation. It’s an innovative filtration process that helps purify the air significantly better than standard air purifier devices. Products with PECO technology are ideal for allergy sufferers.
Of course, there are other ways that you can purify the air in your home. Air conditioning systems are, by far, one of the most accessible ways to diminish airborne allergen levels. You can choose from standalone (portable) systems to built-in “split-air” installations.
You may even decide to have a combination of air conditioning systems and PECO air purifying systems for optimal comfort.
Use a Damp Cloth and Mop When Cleaning Floors
Once you’ve decided to get rid of rugs and carpets from your home, you will need to keep on top of your floor cleaning habits. That’s because dirt, dust, and other airborne allergens will build-up on your floors.
You might think that using a vacuum cleaner is the best way to deal with any dirt and dust build-up on your flooring. However, it can simply move those allergens – usually into the air, resulting in a worse allergen problem than you originally had.
Instead, it makes better sense to use a damp cloth and mop when you clean your flooring. Wet cloths and mops will trap allergens, and you can rinse them away under a tap or in a bucket of hot water and floor detergent.
On a side note, cleaning your floors with damp cloths and mops is also a cheaper and quieter solution than using a high-powered vacuum cleaner.
Don’t Have Pets
As much as you might be an animal lover, having pets can be bad news for your health if you have a particularly high level of allergen sensitivity. That’s because pets like cats and dogs shed their hair everywhere.
Did you know that over 10% of all Americans are allergic to cats, for example? The last thing you want to do is have a pet in your home that constantly causes your allergies to flare up and make you feel really ill.
You could always opt for pets that don’t shed hair, such as goldfish, for instance! It doesn’t matter how badly you want to adopt a pet like a cat or a dog; your health and wellbeing are more important.
Use Dust-Proof Covers on Your Bed
Earlier on this page, you read that washing your bed sheets each week is highly beneficial at diminishing airborne allergens that can make your bed their home. Another practical idea to keep those airborne allergens at bay is by using dust-proof covers on your bed.
They can protect your mattress and pillows, and they are quick to remove when you’re ready for bed. You can then easily fit them back on when you wake up in the morning.
Get Rid Of Mold
Mold is another common allergen. It’s even responsible for some people developing respiratory conditions like asthma, for example. Mold spores tend to grow and spread in damp places like bathrooms or on walls where there is little to no air circulating.
As you can imagine, mold is bad news, and it’s also unsightly. If you leave mold to grow long enough, it can require some remedial work if it attacks the underlying drywall. It can make sense to have a professional treat and remove mold from your home.
Why? The answer is simple: if you’re particularly sensitive to allergens, the mere process of removing mold can cause a lot of flare-ups – even if you wear a lot of PPE (personal protective equipment).
In case you wondered, the general process for treating mold is to use a chemical similar to bleach to “kill” it. You would then wipe the area clean and apply an anti-mold coating followed by standard paint to prevent the problem from happening again.
You might read helpful tips online about how you can simply leave your windows open in your home to circulate air and prevent mold from forming. However, that doesn’t always work, and you simply introduce other allergens inside your home.
Clean All Surfaces Regularly
Finally, it goes without saying that you should clean all surfaces regularly. Airborne allergens like dust and dirt will land on any horizontal surface due to the effects of gravity. That’s why it’s vitally important to keep all surfaces clean as often as possible.
Using wet cloths immersed in hot water is ideal for cleaning most stains, as some household cleaning products contain perfumes that also act as allergens.