Allergies can disrupt daily life with symptoms including runny nose, itchy or watery eyes and postnasal drip. For some people, symptoms are more severe and may result in asthmatic reactions such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Indoor allergens are some of the most insidious culprits behind these symptoms. They often hide in plain sight, causing daily discomfort for you and your family. Your carpet, rug and upholstery are the main air filters in your home and trap dust and allergens, keeping them out of the air. By regular cleaning of these items, you remove the allergens and help your furnishings continue to help filter the air. Spring cleaning is a great time to give your carpets, rugs and upholstery a deep cleaning to remove these trapped allergens and improve the air quality in your home. Some of the most common allergens are:
A buildup of one or more of these allergens negatively affects the air quality of your home. For this reason, a regular, aggressive cleaning regimen is necessary to minimize exposure and restore comfort.
There are many simple steps you can take around your home to keep allergens to a minimum:
Since you spend a good chunk of your life sleeping, the air quality in the bedroom is particularly important. Pillows made with synthetic materials are more allergy-friendly than down, and covering both your pillows and mattress with allergen-resistant covers discourages allergen buildup. Choose covers that are breathable to ensure that moisture doesn’t linger and lead to mold growth.
Bedding and linens including curtains should be washed at least once a week. If your children sleep with stuffed toys, wash those as well. If possible, avoid plush playthings in favor of materials that don’t attract dust and other particles.
Water vapor is a big concern in bathrooms and kitchens. Moisture from showering and cooking stays on walls, creating a friendly environment for mold. Discourage colonization by swapping bathroom carpeting for washable floor mats and using a dehumidifier to clear out damp air. Consider installing an exhaust fan in the kitchen to whisk away steam before it can settle.
Once you begin observing this type of cleaning protocol, you should experience better air quality and a reduction of symptoms. However, simple home cleaning may not be enough to eliminate all allergens. Sometimes a more aggressive regimen is necessary to rid your home of triggers.