Blue Suit Mom

5 Tips to Allergy Proof Your Home

Teen woman with allergy or cold

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five Americans experience allergies or asthma. If you or one your family members has allergies, it may feel like there’s no rest at work or home. Use these 5 tips to allergy-proof your home from common environmental allergies and feel more refreshed each day:

Dust-proof the bedroom — If you have dust mite allergies, reducing dust in your bedroom will help you get a better night’s sleep. Place your pillows inside dust mite covers to prevent dust mites from getting inside your pillow. Also use a dust mite cover on your mattress. You can find pillow covers starting at $15 and mattress covers starting at $40 online or at your local bedding store. Use an air purifier with a HEPA (high energy particulate air) filter to naturally remove dust from the bedroom, and change the filter at the recommended interval (see your owner’s manual).

Tackle your carpets — Dust, pet hair, pollen and other allergens can become trapped in carpets, wreaking havoc on your system. If you can rip up wall-to-wall carpet and switch to hard wood, you’ll breathe easier. If you can’t, vacuum carpet and any area rugs at least once a week. Allergy sufferers with pets would do well to choose an upright pet vacuum, such as a Dyson that is specially designed to vacuum pet hair. Macy’s has a broad selection of vacuums to browse.

Fix mold in your bathroom — A major allergen, mold can cause trouble when it grows behind bathroom walls or on your shower tiles. Regularly clean visible bathroom mold with a cleaning agent. This Old House recommends re-caulking the sink and tub to tighten the seal every few years, and replacing any chipped or missing tiles, to prevent mold from blooming behind walls. Hire a handyman if you’re unsure how to do this; rates average $27-$41 per hour.

Dehumidify if necessary — While it may seem like a dehumidifier has very little to do with allergies, it can prevent the growth of mold. Measure home humidity with a hygrometer, available at your local hardware store for $10 and up. If any room in your home (including your basement) has more than 60 percent humidity, use a dehumidifier to dry out the room, increase your comfort in the home and reduce the chance of mold and subsequent allergies.

Clean up after your pet — Pet allergies don’t mean that you can’t have a pet, but they do require more care. Many of the above-mentioned steps (like vacuuming and using an air filter) help reduce pet dander in the air. If you have curtains or blinds, vacuum these regularly to remove hair. Likewise, clean pet hair from furniture with a hand vacuum, lint roller or other tool. Regular pet grooming, including bathing and brushing, can minimize pet dander. Finally, consider having one room in your home that is designated pet-free so that allergy sufferers can decompress in a no-pet-hair zone as need be.

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