5 Ways to Keep Summer Allergens from Invading Your Home this Season
Be Aware of Summertime Allergens
When it comes to summertime allergens, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve. While you may be used to one set of allergens at home, when you go on vacation, you will ultimately be exposed to a whole new set of allergy patterns.
One of the best ways to reduce the effect of allergens on your home and family is to know which allergens you are being exposed to. The National Allergy Bureau has a great report on pollen and mold levels based on each region of the U.S. that is well worth close inspection.
If you are living in the northeast, for example, it is useful to note that grass and mold make up the top species of allergens that affect cities like Baltimore and New York in mid summer. For cities like Atlanta and Jacksonville, late summer is a great time to watch out for ragweed and fungi due to high levels of humidity.
Read on to learn a few new ways that you can make sure you reduce the affects of allergens in your home this summer.
1) Vacuum and Tidy Regularly
Regular cleaning is the best way to protect your home from allergens. Vacuum carpets, dust surfaces, and wash bedsheets regularly. If your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter, consider investing in one. This type of filter is the most effective way to catch airborne allergens.
The Arizona Allergy Society also recommends using multi-layer or microfilter vacuum bags, as this will reduce the amount of allergens that escape the vacuum cleaner.
2) Replace Carpets
If you are willing to take your allergen purge to the next level, consider replacing carpets with tile or wood flooring. Allergens like pet dander, dust, and pollen accumulate in the fibers of a carpet and are released when they are walked on. Our post on Hardwood Floors 101 has some great tips for things to look at when considering installing wood flooring.
3) Replace the Filters in Your Cooling and Heating Systems
Your furnace and air conditioner should have instructions on how often to replace the filter, so make sure your filters always stay fresh. You don’t want to have dust and dander filtering into your home through the vents of an air conditioner!
Consider installing a home air cleaner, which works with your heating and cooling systems to purify the air that circulates through your home. Max Alexander from This Old House magazine recommends changing hot and cool air filters at least once a month.
4) Use Allergy Resistant Bedding
Hypoallergenic bedding will greatly reduce the amount of dander, mites, and spores that attach to your bedding. Organic cotton or bamboo are two fairly low-cost options when it comes to hypoallergenic sheets and pillow covers.
Covering your mattress and pillows with zip covers will also reduce your exposure to allergens around your bed, so you can breathe easier when you wake up, and all through the night.
5) Regulate Humidity Levels
Especially in southern cities like Austin, Texas, humidity levels accelerate the growth of mold, mildew, and fungus. On the other hand, when the air is too dry, your eyes and nose can become further irritated by allergens that are already present in the air.
You can regulate the humidity levels in your house with a humidifier or dehumidifier, depending on what your specific home needs. Whatever the case, try to maintain humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.
Don’t Let Allergens Stop You From Enjoying the Summer
Itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose – everybody hates coming down with a serious case of seasonal allergies. Nobody wants to be held back from fun summer activities by the nuisance of allergens, and the best way to solve the problem of allergens is to safeguard your home.
For more tips and tricks on reducing allergens in your home, check out our article on creating an allergen free environment inside and outside of your home. Or if you’re feeling extra crafty, read up on some DIY ways to turn your home into an allergen-free sanctuary.
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