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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep indoor plants dry
Wet soil encourages mold growth. Top indoor pots with small pebbles or stones to help prevent mold growth.
Encase the beds
Cover the mattress, box spring and pillows with allergen-proof covers to keep dust mites in check.
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.
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.
Roll up the rugs
Dust mites can’t live on bare wood. If you must have carpeting, vacuum often.
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.