11 ways to allergy-proof your home

Home, sweet, home may be full of sneezes and sniffles if you don’t take some precautions during spring allergy season. Here are 11 surefire solutions to keep allergies at bay

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ac air condition fan woman cooling cooldown hot

Go with the flow

Make sure that your house is well ventilated, including the under-floor area. But shut the windows during high pollen times and turn on the air conditioning to clean, cool and dry the air.

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humid

Monitor humidity

High humidity encourages the growth of molds and can attract cockroaches. Best humidity levels for a house is 40 to 50 percent. Lower isn't better, by the way; a dry house poses health challenges as well.

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allergies

Stay in during peak allergy hours

Limit outdoor excursions when pollen and mold counts are high. Peak pollen times usually fall between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid long periods outdoors on windy days, too, when dust, mold and pollen are blown about.

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shower

Immediately hop in the shower

Shower, wash your hair and change your clothing (including shoes) after being outside. Allergens can easily collect on your skin, hair and clothing. The allergens are then transferred to your face, hands and pillowcase.

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growing vegetable garden

Garden carefully

Have trees and bushes pruned regularly to cut down on vegetation near doors and windows. Don't use leaf blowers. They spurt mold into the air at full force, which then can enter the house. Plant only trees and shrubs that produce small amounts of pollen.

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herb planter

Keep indoor plants dry

Wet soil encourages mold growth. Top indoor pots with small pebbles or stones to help prevent mold growth.

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bedtime sleep

Encase the beds

Cover the mattress, box spring and pillows with allergen-proof covers to keep dust mites in check.

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sleep health

Choose feathers

Research from the University of Manchester in Great Britain found that synthetic fiber and foam pillows contain more dust mites and pet dander than feather-filled pillows. The densely woven covers designed to keep the feathers in also help to keep allergens out.

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cleaning

Dust less often

Leaving an occasional dust bunny under the bed could be a wise move. Doctors at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver say that a molecule called endotoxin, found in ordinary house dust, appears to protect children against allergy and asthma.

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woman vacuuming and cleaning

Roll up the rugs

Dust mites can't live on bare wood. If you must have carpeting, vacuum often.

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stuffed animals

Bag stuffed animals

They may be cute, but they're filled with dust mites. Rid the mites from your home by sealing the stuffed animals in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer for a day or two.

Related:
10 ways to sleep better during allergy season
7 surprising ways to overcome allergy triggers
The worst Canadian cities for allergies