Common allergens of the home include dust mites and dust (yes, they are different), pet dander (different than pet hair), mold, pollen, cockroaches, chemicals and more. One of the best things you can do to minimize these allergens is to regularly and professionally clean and maintenance your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling) systems regularly. Most of your home’s allergens will congregate within this system and that’s why your exposure gets multiplied every time it’s used, multiple times per day. Spring and Fall are great times to call the HVAC professionals to service your system before a heavy winter or summer of system use.
Dust has the ability to really irritate people’s sinuses and respiratory systems. Emphasize elimination where you spend most of your time; bedrooms and living rooms. It’s best not to use a traditional duster, but instead, a microfiber product that has dust cling to it, a damp rag, or a product like pledge that reduces the static electricity of your furniture and fixtures so dust is less likely to settle onto it.
Dust mites are tiny bugs that are an unavoidable part of nature. They can, however, be minimized by washing your bedding regularly (once a week) in hot water. You can also purchase and use hypoallergenic covers on your pillows and mattresses.
Dander are the flakes that come off of your pet’s skin and exposure to this material might have you sneezing, have watery eyes, and a runny nose. Many with allergies to pet dander are still able to live with their pets, though. You can minimize the risk of pet dander on your health by enforcing rules with your pets, such as keeping them out of the bedroom especially and off of furniture. Washing your animals regularly also keeps dander to a minimum, but don’t wash too often or they might become dry and have worse problems that cause irritation to the both of you.
Mold is a very common household allergen and left unaddressed, can cause serious harm to the health of you, your family, and your pets. Mold loves environments that have temps over 70 and humidity levels over 50 percent. To prevent mold from growing, run a dehumidifier or install ventilation in environments conducive to mold. Clean bathrooms and kitchens regularly, and don’t allow any of the surfaces to remain wet.
Pollen is usually an outdoor allergen, but can come inside through open windows and doors. If you know that you are sensitive to pollen, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, don’t keep flowering plants inside the home because they attract pollen. Change clothes upon coming inside and wash your hair on particularly high pollen-count days. You can also dust and mop surfaces, and replace filters regularly.
Flooring for all Allergens
All types of allergens are like bugs. They love places to hide, so keeping your home as clutter-free as possible is a great effort toward a minimally allergen infested home. If you can choose your flooring options, wood is easier to maintain and doesn’t give the allergens vast amount of hiding places. A high quality bag vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is one the most important tools of all against home allergens.