No one wants to be bothered by allergies in their own home. Unfortunately, dust, air pollutants, and other contaminants collect inside and can aggravate allergies, causing discomfort. It’s not uncommon for indoor allergens to trigger symptoms like hay fever, asthma attacks, watery eyes, and sneezing. Long term exposure can even cause respiratory problems.
If you have allergens in your home, the symptoms they cause will likely be a problem the whole year round, unlike outdoor seasonal allergies. Additionally, young children, asthma sufferers, and the elderly are likely to be more susceptible to indoor allergens.
According to a recent study, over 90% of homes in Canada contain three or more detectable allergens. Common allergens found in the home are:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Cockroaches, rodents, and other pests
- Mold spores
Since allergens are so common, it can be difficult to avoid them. However, there’s no need to be uncomfortable in your own home.
You can reduce indoor allergens with the following tips:
1. Use a Dehumidifier
Having a dehumidifier in your home is a great way to reduce the likelihood of growing mold. Since mold thrives in the damp, drying out the air creates a more hostile environment, and your allergies will thank you.
It’s also important to use the exhaust fan in your bathroom during and after showers and baths to help prevent mold growth. Since the bathroom is so prone to dampness, you should be taking particular care to prevent mold from growing there.
2. Prevent Mold in the Bathroom and Kitchen
Since water is used in your bathroom and kitchen, these two rooms are the most prone to mold. To prevent it from taking hold, make sure that you’re disinfecting surfaces that may come into contact with water, like counters, the refrigerator, faucets, basins, and tiles. Use a mold-killing product, preferably one that does not contain any allergy-inducing chemicals.
Another step that you should take is to dry the shower or tub after each use. While this seems like a hassle, it’s easier to prevent the growth of mold than deal with it after it has already appeared.
Should you notice that an item such as a faucet, shower curtain, or mat has mold on it, replace it rather than continue to expose yourself and your family to mold..
3. Vacuum Weekly
Dust mites and other allergens accumulate in carpets and other surfaces, and vacuuming weekly will prevent their buildup. Using a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is recommended, as this allows it to suck up smaller particles that a regular vacuum might miss.
If possible, it’s a good idea to have flooring surfaces like hardwood or linoleum instead of wall-to-wall carpeting, and put washable area rugs down instead. Soft surfaces tend to trap dust and other allergens, so hard flooring will make your vacuuming more effective.
4. Use an Air Purifier
Air purifiers remove aggravating air particles from the room in which they are placed. It’s important to note that while they target particles that are already in the air, they have no effect on allergens that have settled into surfaces like carpets and furniture.
There are many kinds of air filters, but the most effective ones for dust particles, mold, and pollen are those with a HEPA filter, UV air filter, or ion filter.
Check out the clean air delivery rate (CADR) of an air purifier before you purchase one, as that will tell you the surface area that will be affected by the purifier.
5. Put Dust Mite Covers on Mattresses and Pillows
The last thing you want is to be bothered by dust mites in the place that you want to be most comfortable: Your bed. Therefore, you should invest in dust mite-proof mattress and pillow covers.
According to a study, kids with asthma who used dust mite-proof covers on their bedding used less asthma medication than those without. This goes to show that they really work!
You can also take the extra steps of putting tape on the zippers to prevent dust mites from travelling through them.
6. Wash Bedding and Curtains Often
Bedding such as sheets and pillowcases should be changed and washed on a weekly basis, as they are a prime location for dust mites. It’s also important to wash them in hot water, as cold water does not kill dust mites.
In order to make this task easier, you may want to purchase washable curtains made from plain cotton or synthetic cotton.
7. Dust With a Damp Microfiber Cloth
Another good way to reduce allergens is to thoroughly dust your home on a weekly basis with a damp microfiber cloth.
Traditional dusters remove the dust from surfaces, but it goes into the air and eventually settles back down again. In order to trap the dust particles and keep them out of the air you breathe, you need to use a damp microfiber cloth. Rather than simply spread the dust around, these microfiber cloths remove it altogether.
In addition to shelves and other surfaces, any knickknacks, books, or ornaments that are prone to collecting dust need to be addressed. If this seems like too much of a hassle, consider limiting the number of these items that you keep around the house.
8. Keep Your Home Pest-Free
To eliminate allergy-inducing rodent and insect residue, it’s crucial to keep up with your vacuuming and cleaning regimen, as well as take a few extra steps.
Food waste should be placed in a bin with a lid and emptied every day. You should also aim to keep your kitchen and other areas of your home free from food crumbs. If pests don’t find anything to eat, they won’t want to stick around.
If your home has a problem with rodents or insects, you can buy inexpensive traps at any hardware store. You may need to call in an exterminator if the problem is extensive, or you find that the traps aren’t helping. Also, check for places where the pests could be entering and seal them off.
9. Close Windows During Pollen Season
While opening windows can increase the amount of fresh air in your house and improve the air quality, during peak pollen season keeping the windows open will likely worsen your allergies. Closed windows are a good way to prevent pollen from entering your home and aggravating your seasonal allergies.
You should also avoid wearing shoes in the house, since pollen can be tracked in from the outdoors.
10. Declutter Your Space
The fewer things you have lying around, the fewer places that dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens have to hide. Having less clutter to dust also makes it more likely that you’ll get around to dusting as much as you should, and make the dusting more effective.
You can also take the step of reducing the number of items in your home that can’t be dusted as easily, like stuffed animals. These collect dust mites that can’t be cleaned off in the same way as with hard items, but you’re also not likely to want to wash them very often. Therefore, they can be filled with allergens and should be kept off beds.
11. Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned Professionally
When was the last time that you had your air ducts cleaned by a professional? If it wasn’t within the last three to five years, or you can see dust inside your ducts, it’s been too long. Since the air is circulated through your HVAC system five to seven times per day, it’s common for dust and other allergens to build up inside the ducts.
This is the most important step that you can take toward reducing allergens in your home. Having your ducts cleaned reduces allergens in a way that cleaning the rest of your house just isn’t able to do.
While you can clean the ducts yourself as far in as you’re able to reach, a professional team of duct cleaners will get into the return and supply air ducts and registers, cooling coils, drip pans, diffusers, grilles, and other components of your air system. You won’t have to worry that dust, mold, or other contaminants are hiding inside your ducts—you’ll know your air system is clean.
Breath Easy in Your Home!
Every tip here is a solid step towards an allergy-friendly home, but you’ll find that the most important step is cleaning out the lungs of your house: The air ducts. Once this is complete, maintaining your home at low allergen levels becomes much easier.
While it’s near impossible to eliminate allergens completely from your home, you can reduce them to the point that sneezing, watery eyes, hay fever, or allergy-induced asthma attacks are a thing of the past. Following these tips will help you make sure that your home is a safe haven, even to those most sensitive to allergens.
We are Entire Duct Cleaning and we are here to provide you with professional duct cleaning services. Our team of trained and skilled professionals make sure that the air you breath inside your homes and offices is clean and pollutant free. We provide duct cleaning services for residential and commercial properties to help eliminate irritants and allergens such as pollen, smoke, dust mites, bacteria, etc. We service Toronto & the GTA and all cities within a 50 km radius of Toronto including Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, Oakville, Pickering, Ajax, Vaughan, North York, Richmond Hill, Scarborough.
We take great pride in our craft! Therefore, our highly experienced team uses specialized machines and tools to do a professional job! We are always striving to give our customers the best experience and are here to answer all your queries. You can contact us at (416) 278-7661 or fill in the form below for more information and to get a price quote.
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