Combat Allergens This Spring

Many people love the fresh blossom of spring flowers, trees, and grass. With the variety of beauty in our gardens and in our yards, comes pollen. It isn’t just outdoor pollen that trigger nasal allergies, but also inside allergens as well. This time of year typically witnesses an increase in mold spores, dust mites, and cat and dog dander. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundations of America, an estimated 50 million people in the United States suffer from nasal allergies, and that number is increasing. Allergens are found on furniture, floors, and other surfaces around the house. They can also be carried in the air.
Although no home can be allergen free, here are a few tips to reduce the amount of inside and outside allergens in your house.

  1. Dust! Dusting is one of the best ways to reduce dust mites. These microscopic insects thrive in dust and trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. They’re the most common allergen found in the home. When dusting, be sure to a damp or treat cloth that attracts allergens. Dry clothes kick up the dust and could trigger allergies.
  2. Vacuum! Vacuuming reduces allergens from floors where dust can accumulate in corners and with greater intensity. Furniture is also a culprit for dust and dust mites. Use a HEPA filer when vacuuming to prevent allergens and dust mites from becoming airborne as you vacuum.
  3. Doing the laundry reduces allergens from fabrics where dust mites can also accumulate. This includes sheets, blankets, comforters, pillow cases, and throws. To be sure to kill dust mites. Everyday Health recommends washing bed linens in hot water, at least 130 degrees—at least once a week. They also suggest utilizing allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers.
  4. Keep doors and windows closed often. To keep pollen from entering the home, keep windows and doors closed, especially at night. Early morning and late evening are peak times for pollen to be emitted from plants. If you do go out during high pollen counts, change your clothes and shower to reduce the amount of pollen inside. Also, don’t hang up laundry outside to dry during high pollen counts.
  5. Keep bathroom and basements dry and clean. Molds and mildew thrive in damp places. Mold spores can become airborne and float through air vents and take spores throughout the home. To reduce the amount of mold and mildew in the bathroom and basements, scrub away mold from bathroom tiles and surfaces. Replace moldy shower curtains and mold carpeting. If you have a basement, clean up mold and mildew off of walls. Purchase a dehumidifier to reduce damp.

These 5 tips will help reduce the number of allergens in your home and thus will greatly reduce the effects of pollen, dust mites, mold and mildew in your home.