It’s been a cold winter season in Texas. Many of us enjoyed the brief but beautiful snow fall. Most of us are eager for sunshine and warmer weather. March 20th is the first day of Spring. Flowers and plants are already blooming though, and pollen is in the air.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 50 million people in the United States of America suffer from allergies. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the nation.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, just staying home or indoors won’t be enough to avoid being affected. Here are ways to keep allergens to a minimum and effectively allergy-proof your home.
- Plant smartly with low allergy trees and flowers like dogwood, double flowered cherry and magnolia, astilbe, impatiens, hosta, seabiosa columbine and viola. Avoid trees such as maple, birth, and ash.
- Use two doormats at each door, one outside and one inside, to keep outdoor irritants out.
- Remove outer garments when you come into your home. Pollen and mold spores settle on clothing.
- Keep windows closed and use AC during pollen season.
- Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in your AC systems.
- Keep the air in your home cool, between 68-72 degrees F. Dust and mold breed in hot and humid environments.
- Hardwood and tile floors are easier to keep allergen free than carpet.
- Wash area rugs often.
- If you have carpet, use a vacuum with HEPA filter and vacuum often.
- As mentioned before, try to keep your windows closed during the pollen season.
- Washable roller-type blinds are preferable over horizontal blinds or curtains.
- If you like curtains, purchase the washable ones and wash them frequently.
- Make sure your windows are sealed properly so that moisture doesn’t build up, creating a breeding ground for mold.
BEDDING AND FURNISHING
- Use synthetic materials for your bedding. Wool or down attract dust mites.
- Cover pillows and mattresses with dust mite-proof covers.
- Wash bedding often in hot water, 130 degrees F.
- It is best to have easy-to-clean furniture. Avoid upholstered sofas and chairs.
- Declutter your home. The more items you have around the house, the more places the dust will collect.
- Wash dishes daily to avoid mold build up.
- Immediately dry areas around cleaning.
- Towel dry tubs, showers and sinks after use. Scrub off any mold.
- Do not leave wet clothing in washer. Make sure clothing is completely dry before folding, hanging and putting away.
- Wear masks and gloves while cleaning.
- If you have furry loved ones, keep them out of your bedroom, where you spend most of your time at home.
- Bathe them often.
These suggestions might be cumbersome, but they will help reduce dust, mold, dander, etc. Do what works best for you when it comes to allery-proofing your home and enjoy your Spring time weather.