Hidden Allergens at Home

It’s a common misconception that the outdoors, with its pollen-rich grass and flowers, is an allergy-sufferer’s natural enemy. The reality is there are numerous places where allergens can hide inside your home. Identify and maintain these areas to help manage your environment and reduce your exposure to allergens.

Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are essential to controlling allergen levels at home. Depending on the vacuum cleaner, though, it could actually be releasing allergens back into the air. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is good for people with allergies as it provides more effective air filtration. When you vacuum, make sure to vacuum with slower passes so you’re not sending dust airborne with sudden movements.

Air Conditioners

Using an air conditioner is beneficial if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Closing windows and doors prevents pollen from entering your home and the unit can recirculate filtered air on the right setting. However, this is only true so long as your air-conditioner’s filter is clean. A dirty filter will offer poor filtration and and reduced air quality, so clean your filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Similarly, wipe down the blades and cages of any fans you use so dust isn’t recirculated back into the air.

Furniture & Upholstery

Upholstered furniture and fabric curtains and blinds add style to the home, but should be cleaned to remove dust build-up. Be careful of over-saturating your upholstery when cleaning it to avoid encouraging mold growth. If you would like easy-to-clean furnishings, opt for leather furniture and choose shutters or timber, aluminium, or PVC blinds for your window coverings.

Pets

Four-legged friends bring a lot of joy to our lives, but they could also be bringing allergens into your home. Pets that are allowed outdoors get allergen particles on their feet and fur, and track them back into the house. If it’s not possible for you to keep your pets as inside-only pets, make sure you follow a regular bathing schedule for them. You can make life with allergies and pets more manageable with some pet-friendly flooring solutions.

Humidity Level

Too damp, too dry – neither is ideal when it comes to the air in your home. An overly humid environment breeds mold and dust mites. Air that is too dry dries up your sinuses and prevents them from being able to properly filter out allergens. A hygrometer can be used to accurately gauge humidity levels in your home. Alternatively, look out for mold on your walls or ceiling as a sign of high humidity and cracked paint as an indicator of low humidity. Alleviate overly dry environments by using a humidifier, air-drying laundry indoors, or setting out some decorative vessels filled with water so it can evaporate into the air. If your home is too humid, open windows for ventilation, especially when cooking, or try using a dehumidifier.

Are wooden floors better than carpets when it comes to allergies?

The debate continues so let’s look at the facts

Carpet comes under attack because of 1) the chemicals used to make it and 2) because it traps dirt and allergens. However, what may have been true in years past is no longer true in modern carpeting.

THE ALLERGY ISSUE

Common misconceptions are that carpets can harbor dirt and allergens, but there are no reports that link carpeting with asthma or an increase in allergies. Rather than trapping particulates, which is seen as a bad thing, carpeting prevents such things from becoming airborne. Frequent, thorough vacuuming sucks allergens out of carpeting. Continue reading “Are wooden floors better than carpets when it comes to allergies?”