How to Allergy Proof Your Home
Research shows that more and more families now have members who are allergic to something. In fact, a survey of 40,000 families showed that 8% of them have family members who are allergic to certain foods. Allergens are not even limited to food anymore. The worsening state of our atmosphere has made even the air we breathe an allergen for some.
If you are one of these families, there isn’t much you can do about the outside environment. Pollen, molds and other allergens will be present whether we like it or not. What we can do though is make our own homes as devoid of allergens as possible. Below are some of the best ways to allergy-proof your home.
DEALING WITH MOLDS
One of the most common triggers of allergic reactions is mold. Molds can cause nasal and air pathway congestion, trigger asthma, as well as cause disease. To prevent the growth of molds it is important to minimize moisture inside the house. One way to do so is to minimize the use of humidifiers. Using humidifiers more often than needed can cause excess moisture to be absorbed by your walls and furniture. Unfortunately this encourages mold growth. To prevent this from happening, you should turn the humidifier off once condensation has developed on the windows.
Molds are often found in the spaces where water supply is available, like the kitchen and bathrooms of your home. To keep molds from growing, these areas must be kept clean and dry at all times. A way to do this is to install exhaust fans and to repair any leaky pipes or faucets that may introduce more moisture into the area.
Potted plants are an unexpected cause of allergic attacks. First of all they may contain pollen. Secondly, the soil these plants come with is a breeding ground for mold. It would be better to keep plants out if you are sensitive, but using pebbles to cover the dirt is a great way to contain the mold.
Another common trigger for allergies is good old dust. Dust is made up of different kinds of small particles, like dander from humans and animals and waste from insects. To minimize dust in your home, close the windows and use air conditioning instead of a fan (fans tend to stir up the dust). Remove your carpeting and replace it with hardwood, linoleum or tile. Carpets tend to trap dust which is why it has to go, but if it’s too expensive to replace your flooring, make sure to vacuum your carpets at least once a week. Use a vacuum with a high efficiency particulate filter (HEPA).
Avoid using upholstery on your furniture. Leather, wood and vinyl are much easier to clean and don’t trap particles as much as upholstery does. For your window treatments, opt for curtains instead of blinds because blinds can be a little bit difficult to wipe clean. In comparison, the great thing about curtains is that you can wash them with the rest of your laundry.
If you suffer from allergies it is probably not such a great idea to have a pet. But if you already have one and have completely fallen in love with it, getting rid of it might be too late (not to mention heartless). To keep your allergic attacks to a minimum, see if you can create a cozy little home for your pet outside of your house. If having pets in the house with you is non-negotiable, at least keep them outside of your bedroom. Keeping them away from upholstered furniture, which can trap pet hairs and other allergens, might also lower the chances of you getting a sneeze fest every time you sit down to watch television.
Allergies can be quite bothersome but if you take the necessary steps, you may be able to come home to a warm, welcoming and allergen-free home.