Summer is essentially over (sigh), and with changing seasons comes the start of puffy eyes and endless sneezing, also known as allergy season. Although allergy sufferers can stock up on as many allergy medications as the drug store offers, the most effective way to prevent annoying symptoms is to allergy-proof your home. To create a safe haven, consider the following tips for an allergy-free home:
1. Replace air filters
At this very moment, many home air filters are covered in enough dust, debris and dander to make any allergy-sufferer miserable. Filters do an excellent job of absorbing airborne irritants, but their abilities to remove debris from the air is greatly reduced when they’re neglected for too long. Replacing air filters boosts the efficiency of air conditioning systems and prevents debris from slipping through the cracks and causing an allergy nightmare in the home. Not to mention, replacing filters helps lower monthly energy costs by reducing energy consumption.
2. Purchase dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers should be inseparable companions to allergy sufferers. Dehumidifiers can transform any allergen-ridden room into a paradise of fresh, clean, breathable air. In addition to reducing debris and allergens in the air, dehumidifiers help prevent mold growth, which is the arch nemesis of many allergic individuals. As an added benefit, your home will remain cleaner throughout the year, which is especially beneficial for residences in rainy and wet climates.
3. Practice proper pet hygiene
People with allergies don’t have to sacrifice living with their furry friends to reduce allergens, but they do have to put forth more effort than non-allergic people to prevent pet dander from causing irritation. Bathe animal friends on a regular basis during allergy season and perform other hygiene practices such as brushing, applying flea-killing products and clipping toenails. This prevents pets from shedding and filling the home with pet dander, while eliminating the likelihood of tracking in other kinds of allergens.
4. Wash bed sheets regularly
Most people spend between seven and 12 hours per day in bed, which happens to be a favorite spot for microscopic dust mites that feed on dead skin cells and cause tremendous irritation to allergy-sufferers. Especially in climates where moisture levels are high, it’s crucial to wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in warm or hot water. Remove, wash or cover comforters to prevent the likelihood of dust mite infestation, and encase pillows, box springs and mattresses in dust mite-proof covers.
Although homeowners aren’t able to change the air outside, they can change the air inside by applying the above basic measures for preventing allergies. Before the allergy season hits, it’s best to get prepared as early as possible to avoid disaster when airborne nuisances strike. Above all, allergy sufferers should do their best to stay indoors on days when pollen or mold levels are high and visit their family physician if allergies become a problem.