Are you looking for ways to allergy-proof your house? You’re in the right place!
It isn’t just in your head; pollen allergy seasons get worse every year. Hotter temperatures translate to more potent pollen, which comes from grasses, flowers, weeds, and trees, for a longer period of time. Sagebrush, cedar, oak, ragweed, and birch are some of the most common pollen allergens.
And it’s not just the pollen that can trigger an allergy reaction. Polution, dust mites, and fumes can also cause cold-like symptoms such as itchiness, sneezing, and a runny or blocked nose.
While you can’t do much to control these outdoor factors, you can manage your indoor environment. According to experts, the first line of treatment for allergies is avoidance. Start by seeing an allergist to help you figure out your trigger. Then make some simple but powerful changes to allergy-proof your home.
Here are some ideas!
1. Stop outdoor allergens at the door
You can’t see them, but pollen particles cling to your shoes as you enter your home. One of the best ways to help allergy-proof your house is to create a spot to remove shoes in the entryway. This way, you’ll no longer bring outdoor allergens inside (at least not on your feet).
In order to implement the no-shoes policy, place an indoor mat to catch footwear right inside the door. Make sure to vacuum this area often, especially during allergy seasons. To make this trick even more effective, use a doormat outside (a water-resistant coir one works well) to wipe off shoes before you enter the house.
2. Shed layers and wash away allergens
For serious allergy sufferers, one of the best and most effective ways to help allergy-proof your house is to remove as much clothing as you can as soon as you cross the threshold. Leave jackets, hats, and scarves in your entryway or a closet.
Whether you’ve been working in the yard or your grandchildren have been playing outside, keep a hamper nearby (perhaps hidden away in a mudroom or in a coat closet) so you can isolate dirty clothes until it’s time to do the laundry. Don’t forget to wash clothing on hot to kill allergens.
Also, if you have some really bad allergies and you’ve been outdoors for a while, you should head straight to the shower after getting home. However, if you don’t have time or that sounds too laborious, at least try to wash your face and eyelids (according to experts, eyelashes catch a lot of pollen) using a mild, fragrance-free cleanser.
3. Consider allergen-resistant flooring
A great—though costly—way to allergy-proof your house is to consider flooring like tile and wood, which are ideal for allergy sufferers.
According to David Corry, M.D., professor of medicine in the section of allergy, immunology, and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, mold is the main indoor issue for many people. Even if you’re not allergic to mold, spores can get into your airways and increase the risk of developing asthma, allergies, and chronic sinusitis.
When it comes to rugs, if you’re keen on having them, opt for short-pile or no-pile styles. If you have thick, fluffy rugs, the best thing you can do to allergy-proof your house is to get rid of them because they trap lots of allergens.
As an alternative, you can go for short weaves made from sisal or polypropylene, which are durable and easy to clean.
4. Change the filter in your heating and cooling system
One of the main ways that allergens get into your home is through your heating and cooling system. That’s why one of the best ways to allergy-proof your house is to spend some money on certified allergy- and asthma-friendly filters.
The best high-quality filters of this kind have a microparticle performance rating (MPR) of 1550, which means they’re suited to attract and capture tiny particles from sneezing, coughing, smoke, viruses, and bacteria. Basically, the higher the MPR rating, the more microparticles the filter will capture.
If you haven’t tried these filters yet, this is your cue to do it. As one of the most effective methods to allergy-proof your house, this one is definitely a life changer.
5. Vacuum floors well
No matter what covers your floor, it’s important to vacuum regularly and thoroughly if you want to effectively water-proof your house. And here’s something most people don’t know: according to experts, the “pull” pass is the one that actually does the cleaning job; the “push” pass is only for positioning.
So, if allergies are taking a toll on your day-to-day life, slow down on the pull. And make sure you use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration, which traps even the microparticles. A cyclonic vacuum is also a good choice because it spins dirt away.
If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, the best thing you can do is to get it deep-cleaned (think dry cleaning or steam cleaning) on a regular basis to nix dust mites and help allergy-proof your house.
Keep reading to discover other ways to allergy-proof your house!
6. Choose houseplants carefully
Yes, houseplants can brighten your indoor environment, and they may even help purify the air by absorbing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a study shows. However, if you want to allergy-proof your house, you may want to choose carefully.
While most indoor plants don’t produce the type of pollen that triggers seasonal allergy sufferers, some of them can collect dust and promote mold growth. Experts say that occasionally there can also be cross-reactivity between houseplants and common outdoor allergens, meaning they may share similar proteins that can make you sneeze.
This being said, if you want to bring some greenery indoors and allergy-proof your house, you’ll need to do a bit of research and experiment to see what works for you.
7. Use an air purifier
Having an air purifier is by far one of the best and most effective ways to allergy-proof your house. Many allergens can sneak into your home through open windows and doors, and there’s nothing you can do to stop this. But you can trap those allergens before they have time to settle indoors and affect you.
When shopping for an air purifier, make sure you pick one with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). The higher the CADR, the faster the device filters the air. Also, the HEPA filter is the gold standard for air purifiers, as it’s been around since the ’50s and has been known to trap teeny allergens. You should also ensure the unit can handle the size of the room you plan to use it in.
8. Run the AC
Cool breezes feel nice on your skin, but if it’s warm outside and you’re dealing with seasonal allergies, opening windows means letting pollen inside. To allergy-proof your house and still keep a comfortable temperature indoors, you’re much better off keeping things sealed off, especially in the bedroom. and turning on the air conditioner.
Just remember to clean or change the filters regularly (about once a month if you have a window unit and every two or three months if you have central air).
9. Ditch bedroom dust
Another way to allergy-proof your house is to ensure there’s as little dust as possible. Although getting rid of all the dust in your bedroom is pretty impossible, you can get quite close. Start by ditching fabric curtains and throw pillows (since most aren’t washable), then pick up some dust-mite-proof encasements for your pillows and mattress.
For those dealing with allergies, experts recommend washing their bedding once a week in the hottest setting. Also, when dusting, always start with the ceiling fan and finish with the floors.
If you liked our article on ways to allergy-proof your house, you may also want to read 9 Best Indoor Plants to Relieve Allergies.