June 09, 2020
Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies knows how tough it can be: sneezing, itchy nose and throat, congestion, and coughing follows them anywhere they go outdoors. One of the most common recommendations doctors make for those with allergies is to stay inside where there are fewer irritants in the air.
But what happens when allergies follow you indoors?
There are few things worse than having to combat the draining symptoms of seasonal allergies inside your own home. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to allergy-proof it—mostly by combatting the dust, mold, and pollen that instigate symptoms. While the general rule of thumb is “clean, clean, clean,” there are specific room-by-room actions that can help keep your home free of allergens.
Even more so than other rooms, cleanliness in the kitchen is essential. Washing dishes daily (and scrubbing the sink afterwards) keeps allergy-causing mold from forming. Mold-preventing cleaning should also be done regularly to your cabinets, counters, and refrigerator. Food waste often grows mold, so it’s important to empty the trash daily, discard old food, and clean any surfaces using detergent and water. Installing a vented exhaust fan above the stove can also help direct food particles out of your home.
Bedding can easily collect dust that causes allergies. Using synthetic bedding materials and dust mite-proof covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs can help keep irritants at bay. Washing sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and comforters on a weekly basis can keep dust from accumulating and causing symptoms.
There are plenty of places for allergens to accumulate in the living room. Leather, wood, metal, or plastic chairs and sofas are easiest to keep clean because they repel the irritants that cause allergies. Upholstered furniture and carpets can be kept clean with regular vacuuming. Wood-burning fireplaces should be used on limited basis, and plants that cause allergies may need to be moved outside.
Moisture in the bathroom can cause mold, a major source of allergies. Make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated, ideally with an exhaust fan for use when taking a shower or bath. Scrub and dry your shower walls, tub, and sinks to prevent mold from taking hold.
Like the bathroom, the basement is also prone to problems related to moisture. An extensive check of foundations, windows, and other surfaces for cracks can keep moisture out. If there are moisture problems in the basement, a dehumidifier can help in reducing dampness.
No matter the room, keeping the climate under control makes a difference. Dust mites and mold both thrive in hot, humid houses—so keeping the temperature between 68 and 72 degrees and the humidity under 50 percent can make a big difference.
Weekly cleaning of the house goes a long way to purge the irritants that fuel allergies. Cleaning or replacing the filters in HVAC systems, mopping floors, and vacuuming can drastically improve your indoor environment. Even closing doors and windows during warm weather can help ensure mold and pollen stay outdoors.
Your home should be a sanctuary – especially if you’re besieged by seasonal allergies. By proactively addressing potential problems room-by-room, you can ensure your home remains comfortable.