Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home September 05, 2017 10:30
Is your house making it hard to breathe? Here's how to fix it.
Outside of our homes, we are constantly surrounded by toxic fumes coming from all sorts of places, such as vehicles and factories.
But what may be even more harmful are the toxins we're exposed to inside our homes on a daily basis. Yes, the place you call your sanctuary can be the most poisonous of all.
In addition to the toxins, there are also a number of potential allergens lurking in our living spaces. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the levels of indoor air pollutants may be two to five times higher than the levels of pollutants outside.
Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental threats to human health. Considering that most Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, this is a major concern.
Look for an air filter that handles particulate matter, such as dust and dander, as well as chemical matter.
I have freestanding air filters in my office and home, and they work quite well. The best kinds of filters for people with allergies are high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are specially designed to remove allergens from the air.
The most important place to run an air filter is in your bedroom, which is where you spend most of your time. It's also frequently the most polluted room in the house. It's a good idea to try and adjust the filter so it directs clean air toward you as you sleep.
You can also help remove debris from the air by installing a furnace filter, which traps pollen and dust before these allergens have a chance to circulate throughout the house. Furnace filters are easy to install and are relatively inexpensive.
Deter dust mites. Microscopic dust mites are a common asthma and allergy trigger. They feed on sloughed-off skin cells and lurk in bedding, stuffed animals, storage boxes, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. To discourage them, do the following:
• Encase your mattresses, box springs, and pillows in allergy-proof or airtight zippered plastic covers.
• Wash all bedding weekly in water that is at least 130°F, and dry everything in a dryer on the hottest setting.
• Keep your home cool by turning down the heat or turning up the AC; dust mites don't reproduce in temperatures colder than about 77°F.
Not only does a clean house make for a more pleasant and enjoyable living environment for all, but clean conditions also help keep allergens under control.
If you can, try to clean your home weekly. Mop all of your floors with a damp mop and vacuum all carpeting and rugs with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. (Don't forget to vacuum the backs of chairs and couches, where dust, dust mites, and mold can hide.)
Wipe the dust from windowsills, furniture, and other surfaces. If you have allergies, wear a dust mask while you clean, or ask a family member who doesn't have allergies to do these chores.