If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, the importance of reducing allergens in your home can’t be overstated. Whether your in-home allergens be biological or chemical, there are several ways to mitigate their concentration thus reducing adverse reactions. Unfortunately, allergens can live in several places; from carpets to pets and plants to air ducts, allergens can attack from all angles. Take a look at some of the ways you can reduce your exposure to airborne allergens at home.
Replace Air Filters
Your home’s indoor air quality is largely regulated by your heating system’s filtration feature. When forced hot air is blown through your vents, filters catch contaminants such as dust, pollen, and other microscopic allergens; this feature reduces the concentration of allergens that are emitted into your home where they can be inhaled or settled onto surfaces. These air filters should be regularly replaced at 90-day intervals.
What’s more, air filters are graded on efficiency, and higher-grade air filters are more effective than lower-grade ones. But no matter how efficient the filter is, it needs to be maintained regularly.
Unfortunately, allergy-causing air particulates find carpeting and rugs to be cozy homes. Specifically, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites are especially attracted to carpeting. Regularly vacuuming your carpets can help to reduce allergens in your home. However, it’s important to note that not all home vacuum cleaners are created equal. Choosing a vacuum with a superior filtration system is of utmost importance.
Vacuums equipped with a filter that meets HEPA certification requirements are more efficient at sucking up and trapping allergens than their counterpart. Furthermore, these same HEPA-certified vacuums have sealed systems that prevent allergens from leaking back out. Investing in a good vacuum and cleaning your carpeting regularly can reduce your exposure to airborne allergens.
Invest in an Air Purifier
Although it’s impossible to remove airborne allergens entirely, an efficient air purifier can help to reduce the presence of smoke, dust, pet dander, pollen, and other harmful irritants. Best of all, a good air purifier will remove high concentrations of air particulates before they even settle on surfaces, carpets, or worse, in your lungs.
Just like when shopping for a vacuum cleaner, it’s important to choose an air purification system equipped with a HEPA-certified filter to yield optimal results. Moreover, be sure to choose a purifier that’s appropriate to your room size. Lastly, just as with replacing your home HVAC’s filters, standalone air purifiers also necessitate maintenance to work at their full potential.
Consider Professional Air Duct Cleaning
One of the best ways to maintain the quality of your in-home air is by having your air ducts professionally cleaned. Not only does air duct maintenance help your HVAC unit to work efficiently, but it also deep cleans the unseen parts of your home that harbor allergens. When air pollutants such as dander, dust, pollen, and dirt settle in your ductwork, they can be easily recirculated into your home’s living areas.
If you live in Canada, a reputable Toronto duct cleaning service will use industrial equipment such as portable abatement systems and vacuum trucks to entirely remove the contaminants that have settled into your air ducts; the result is cleaner breathing air and reduced exposure to airborne allergens.
Control Dust Accumulation
When air particulate matter slowly settles onto your furniture, atop your decor, upon your fixtures, and beyond, it’s only a matter of time before movement kicks it up again. If you suffer from allergies, you know how exhausting this cycle can be. However, you can control dust accumulation and kick-up by adhering to a few guidelines.
For starters, adhering to a daily cleaning routine that includes dusting, wiping, and vacuuming will get you in the habit of regularly eliminating contaminants. Being mindful of the order in which you clean is important too; a top-to-bottom approach disallows the reaccumulation of dust on surfaces that might occur if you clean in an adverse order.
Washing your bedding weekly, vacuuming regularly, and reducing clutter are other useful ways to mitigate dust accumulation and thereby control airborne allergens.
Keep Windows Closed to Limit Outdoor Allergens
Sure, it’s nice to open the windows to let in the fresh air on mild days, however, doing so also welcomes outdoor allergens into your home. Two allergens that easily find their way into your home through open windows are pollen and mold. If you’re someone who suffers from allergies or asthma, you know how dangerous these allergens can be to your health.
Not only will these allergens find their way into your breathing air, but they’ll also settle onto window treatments, surfaces, and beyond. Unfortunately though, simply keeping windows closed at all times will not eliminate these contaminants.
Window upkeep like recaulking degraded window seals also helps; it could also be useful to position air purifiers near windows. Lastly, if you’d still like to be able to open windows during allergy season, you can purchase window screen pollen filters to help trap incoming allergens.
A commonly overlooked way to improve your air quality is by managing moisture in the air. It’s no secret that humidity can lead to the accumulation of dust mites and the growth of mold spores. Both of these allergens thrive in humid environments, so managing the humidity levels in your home through the use of systems such as air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help temper these allergens.
The average recommendation is 50% humidity to keep dust mites and mold at bay. Air conditioners work by separating the moisture in your air and draining it out; dehumidifiers work similarly, collecting and draining moisture from the air before recirculating it, without cooling the air. Either way, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers work well to reduce humidity and inhibit the growth of dust mites and mold spores that pose a threat to your allergies.
Most people spend the majority of their time indoors, so maintaining optimal air quality is of utmost importance. This is even more important if you’re an allergy sufferer. Fortunately, there are several tried and true ways to reduce your exposure to airborne allergens at home. From replacing air filters to cleaning your ductwork and controlling dust accumulation to reducing moisture, the aforementioned methods will exponentially improve your indoor air quality.