Watery eyes, a scratchy throat, and congestion are all common symptoms caused by indoor allergens, including dust, dander and mold. It’s estimated that more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergy symptoms.
Whether it’s from the food you eat, the air you breathe or the things you touch, there are plenty of threats to your immune system right inside your home. Although there isn’t a cure for allergy symptoms – only treatments – you can prevent them from flaring up by creating a healthy indoor environment with these four steps.
Focus on the Living Room and Bedrooms First
The living room and bedrooms are where your family spends most of its time inside the home. Unfortunately, many allergens like dust mites creep their way inside furniture as they do beds, laying eggs and leaving droppings that trigger allergic reactions. Here are some tips to ensure your living room and bedrooms are free of dust mites.
- Vacuum your home, especially the furniture and curtains, at least once per week.
- Use washable cushions and slip covers, and wash them in hot water once per week.
- Don’t let your pets on the furniture or on the beds.
Keep the Cockroaches Out of the Kitchen
Considering that a cockroach’s droppings can trigger allergic reactions, it’s important to clean your kitchen daily and stop cockroaches from infesting it. Mold is also a threat in the kitchen, as it can grow under the sink, around the dishwasher or in any other damp space. Here’s how to keep allergens out of your kitchen.
- Always store food in airtight containers, and never leave it out.
- Wash dishes immediately, and wipe the stovetop after every time you cook.
- Use a trashcan that has a seal or a cover.
Prevent Mold Growth in the Bathrooms
Any indoor environment that’s warm and damp is a breeding ground for mold growth. As with the kitchen, you’ll often find mold growing under the sink in the bathroom as well as in and around the shower. Since high quantities of mold can present many health risks to humans, including allergic reactions, poisoning and fungal infections, it’s important to remove it as soon as you spot it. To ensure mold doesn’t grow in your bathroom, follow these tips.
- Use the fan when showering to circulate the air and reduce moisture in it.
- Fix all leaking pipes, and wipe the sink and counter daily to remove excess water.
- Wash the towels and floor mats weekly, and use a mold spray when cleaning.
Invest in Indoor Air Quality Solutions
Dust mites and mold thrive on the humidity in your home. Luckily, there are plenty of indoor air quality solutions to help you combat these threats. Use a dehumidifier in the living room and in the bedrooms to maintain a humidity level of less than 50 percent around your home to prevent mold growth. To eliminate the tiniest and lightest of allergens, invest in an air filtration system that removes triggering particles and pollutants from your home’s air.
IAQ Tip: If possible, use a high-efficiency particulate air filter in your HVAC system. Unlike a conventional air filter, which only catches particles that are 10.0 microns or larger, a HEPA filter catches 99.7 percent of all particles that are 0.3 microns or smaller. This includes pet dander, tobacco smoke, mold spores, dust mites, and pollen. Remember to change the filter monthly for optimal performance.
For more information about how to keep your allergies from acting up this spring in Birmingham, Alabama, or if you’re interested in scheduling a duct cleaning to improve your indoor air quality, read on about how to create an asthma-friendly home or contact us at (205) 209-4246. Our team of comfort specialists looks forward to helping you breathe easier and sleep more peacefully in a cleaner home.