An allergen is any microscopic substance, typically eaten or breathed in, that is recognized by the immune system and causes an allergic reaction within the body. The most common household ones include dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. They can be found anywhere in the home, as they are carried around in the air as it travels around. Many times they will also settle deep down in the fibers of your carpets making them difficult to remove.
If you or your family members suffer from allergies or asthma then any reaction can be strong to severe. For this reason it is important to remove them from your home on a regular basis, and then make your home less inviting for them in the future. Here are a few tips that you can follow to do just that.
1. Carpets are a haven for dust mites as they can hide deep down in the fibers. It is recommended to replace carpeting, especially thicker ones with hard floors like laminate, hardwood, or tile for any household that has family members who suffer from indoor allergies. And if carpets are the flooring choice then it is recommended to find one of the best rated vacuums for removing allergens from all types of carpeting (low to high pile).
2. Sealing all areas around doors and windows where pollen can enter is another highly recommended home improvement job. Pollen is the most common outdoor allergen, affecting millions of people each year. It can make its’ way into your home several different ways including on your clothes or through small openings. By sealing up any small openings you will greatly reduce the chances of pollen building up inside.
3. The furnace can be a last resort for removing allergens from the air in your home. There are high quality filters that can trap even the smallest of pollen, dust, or mold particles from the air as it passes through. Pay attention to the rating on the filter and don’t be afraid to spend a little more to get better performance. The indoor air quality will improve as a result.
4. Drapes are another place where dust can collect over time. They have a lot of corners and hidden areas that are difficult to clean. It’s recommended to either replace them with blinds or spend extra time periodically cleaning them thoroughly. You can dust them or machine wash them (if possible) to make sure these allergens are completely removed.
5. Make sure all bathrooms are adequately vented to the outside. This will help prevent any mold or mildew from building up after hot showers, or during any undiscovered plumbing leaks. Moldpedia.com states that mold can grow indoors in high humidity, damp areas, and warmth. These all describe a typical bathroom but an outdoor vent can help reduce these. Just be sure to run it for an extended period after each shower to completely remove any damp, humid air.
6. Standard wood burning fireplaces can cause an allergic reaction or at least some symptoms if the excess smoke is not removed in a timely fashion. Itchy and watery eyes are common for those who are exposed to excess smoke from a fireplace. One way to eliminate this is to instead have a gas insert installed in your chimney. Natural gas burns much cleaner than wood and also creates almost no mess inside your home. Those with allergies should definitely consider using propane or natural gas instead of wood.
7. This tip goes hand in hand with number 5 above. Repair any water leaks as soon as they are discovered, even if they are considered minor. If wood or most materials are exposed to water over time, mold will likely start to form. The best way to eliminate this common problem is to have any water leaks completely fixed, by a plumber if possible.
It should be clear by now that by making a few minor adjustments to your home you can make it harder for allergens to enter or collect inside your home. Your indoor air quality will be healthier for your family and any visitors. This is especially important for those who suffer from allergies or asthma as they are much more sensitive to allergens than others.