Allergy Proofing Your Home

October 27, 2020

Taking simple steps to rid your home of common allergens may be the best course of action to reduce symptoms. Eliminating the root causes of the allergic reaction with regular cleaning and a handful of preventative measures often reaps tremendous results. In fact, many unsuspected factors in the home can cause significant allergic reactions, sometimes spurring sufferers to purchase expensive allergy medications instead of resolving the issue.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

Living Allergy Free at Home

Education is the first step towards allergy-proofing your home. Many common household items, like faucets or bedsheets, can harbor allergens. With the proper knowledge, allergic reactions in the home may be completely eliminated:

  • Remove clutter from your home, as it provides extra surfaces for dust collection.
  • Replace carpets with linoleum or hardwood flooring. If this isn’t possible, buy a HEPA-filter vacuum to use once a week and shampoo carpets frequently.
  • Think about replacing your worn or outdated windows and doors.
  • Avoid upholstered furniture if possible; instead, opt for leather or vinyl.
  • Remove heavy draperies and replace them with washable cotton curtains. Swap blinds with roller shades to reduce dust.
  • Bathe pets regularly to reduce dander.
  • Purchase a small-particle or HEPA air filter to remove airborne allergens from common traffic areas. These will also help control pet dander and mold spores. Be sure to clean the filters once monthly.
  • Store clothing and stuffed animals in plastic tote bins instead of boxes.
  • During high pollen season, run the air conditioning as much as possible and keep the windows closed.
  • Regularly wipe dust and pollen residue from all window sills.
  • Don’t allow smoking in the home.
  • Dust weekly with a wet rag.
  • Stay on top of pest infestation, as many carry common allergens (mice, cockroaches). Seal cracks and openings around the home to prevent reentry.
  • Get rid of household plants, or at least spread aquarium rocks on top of the soil to contain mold spores.
  • Keep the temperature in your home at 70F and the moisture level at 50%.

Most people suffering from respiratory allergies will notice a marked improvement just by making these simple changes, but extra measures may be necessary for year-round comfort in the home. For more in-depth allergy prevention, follow this guide room by room in your home and keep a weekly cleaning routine for specific areas.


Dust-Free Bedrooms

Follow these tips to keep dust mites from collecting in your bedroom:

  • Buy dust-mite-proof covers for pillows and mattresses.
  • Wash sheets weekly in 130F water.

Eliminating Living Room Allergens

To help keep your living room livable, stick to these rules:

  • If using upholstered furniture, clean and vacuum the fabric frequently.
  • Avoid using wood-burning fireplaces.

Killing Bathroom Mold

Often the worst place to find mold, your bathroom can be allergy-free with some basic upkeep.

  • Install a ventilation fan to reduce humidity.
  • Use mold-resistant paint or tiles on the walls.
  • Scrub mold from toilets, piping, faucets, and crevices.
  • Fix all plumbing leaks immediately.
  • Towel-dry the tub or shower after every use.
  • Dispose of body loofahs or sponges every 2-3 weeks, as they produce mold.
  • Wash bath mats weekly.

An Allergy-Free Kitchen

With food and trash in one room, it's important to make an extra effort to rid your kitchen of potential allergy triggers.
  • Use the exhaust fan on the stove to reduce moisture.
  • Scrub faucets and wash all dishes daily.
  • Keep the refrigerator clean, scrubbing away all residue to reduce mold and disposing of all spoiling food.
  • Clean the counters weekly with detergent and water.
  • Store pet food in sealed containers.
  • Keep an insect-proof lid on the trash bin and sweep up all crumbs to avoid pest infestations.

Mold & Mildew in the Basement

Dark and damp, basements are typically loaded with mold and mildew. To make the air breathable again, follow these tips:

  • Use a dehumidifier to prevent mold.
  • Use concrete, vinyl, or tile flooring in basements. (Remove all carpeting.)
  • Store everything in plastic totes; avoid keeping boxes as they will mold.
  • Vent clothes drier outdoors.

Allergy symptoms can include wheezing, sneezing, itchy eyes, rash or hives, fatigue, stomach discomfort, and headaches, making life very uncomfortable for many people year-long. Learning which allergens trigger your symptoms and eliminating those factors are the first steps toward improving your quality of life as an allergy sufferer.

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