With spring beginning this week, it's time for flowers, sunshine, and—for many individuals—an uptick in allergies. Runny noses, coughing, itchy eyes, and sneezing are all side effects of this irritating ailment, and so many fall victim to them year after year, season after season. While allergies may not be completely avoidable, there are ways to reduce symptoms and make the season more bearable. Read below to learn how to allergy-proof your home from the inside out to minimize symptoms this allergy season.
Allergy-Proofing the Interior of Your Home
Before understanding how to reduce allergens, it’s important to learn what common indoor allergens even are. Allergens are substances that prove to be foreign to the body, prompting an allergic reaction for certain people. These are everywhere: in our homes, outside—practically everywhere we go! Examples of indoor allergens include house dust, cat or dog dander, houseplants, cockroaches, or even certain fabrics.
Indoor Allergy-Proofing Tips
There are many simple steps to take when allergy-proofing the inside of your home.
Clean Your Air
A well-ventilated house and ductwork that doesn’t leak is an important step in reducing in-home allergens. Use high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) in your air conditioner system, and maintain a humidity level in your home of about 50 percent. Since mold likes moisture, you don’t want to keep your home’s air too moist.
Another way to keep the air within your home clean is to keep windows closed, particular during the hours of 10 in the morning and three in the afternoon, which is when it tends to be most windy, stirring pollen into the air.
Dust is an allergen that can cause an abundance of issues, so reducing the amount of dust in your home makes for a much more pleasant experience. Carpets and other fabrics like the textiles on furniture create and hold dust. Where possible, use washable rugs that can be pulled up, allowing you to mop the floors regularly and to regularly remove the dust. Vacuum and clean your furniture and regularly wash curtains to reduce the amount of dust in the air.
Allergens tend to hang out on our stuff, such as in piles of clothes, on paper or textiles, and so on. Thus, regularly decluttering takes away spaces for allergens to live within your home. Don’t keep knick-knacks, old magazines, or other items around that do nothing but collect dust and take up space within your home.
Allergy-Proofing the Exterior of Your Home
There are many outdoor allergens that can irritate one’s senses, no matter what the season. These include pollen, grass, and mold—all of which spike particularly in the spring. Allergy-proofing the exterior of your home may seem like a taller task, but there are a variety of ways to make it happen.
Place Your Garden Strategically
Gardens are great, but the plants and flowers that exist in them produce an abundance of pollen, which is an allergen that causes irritation for many. Place your garden strategically to ensure that it isn’t too close to your home’s windows, allowing these particles to float in and to exasperate allergy symptoms.
Allergens are commonly tracked inside from the outdoors. To avoid this from happening, lay down doormats outside of each entryway to your home. Ask family members and guests alike to wipe their feet thoroughly before entering your home to keep outdoor allergens from sneaking inside.
Clotheslines are a wonderful alternative to using dryers: they take up less energy, they’re a simplistic design, and they work well! However, with pollen and mold spores in the air, you don’t want your clothes hanging around outside to collect these particles. Wearing clothes that dried outside could prompt worse allergies, so this should be avoided.
It may not be possible to avoid allergies altogether, but following these tips certainly reduces the chances of suffering from sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes during the glorious season of spring.