As our mild winter gives way to our already-warm spring, you could be finding yourself with uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Because of such an uncharacteristically warm winter, pollen and dust levels are higher than normal, and those irritants could be making their way into your home. Here is a three-step plan to reduce your allergy symptoms and improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Identify the cause of your allergies
If you don’t already know what causes your allergies, seek advice from a medical professional. A doctor can help you figure out what causes your allergy symptoms and whether you need treatment.
Remove the source of the allergens
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Environmental Protection Agency, the best way to improve your allergy symptoms is to remove the source of the allergens from your home. This could be your pet, houseplants or a dust mite-infested couch. Remove the offending object from your home and your indoor air quality will be immediately improved.
Reduce exposure to allergens
Unless you remove everything from your home and live in a concrete cell, you will likely still have some indoor air pollutants in your home that aggravate your symptoms. You can reduce your exposure to these indoor air pollutants in five ways.
- Clean – Keep the surfaces in your home clean and free of dust that can easily make its way back into the air. Regularly wash your bedding, pillows and stuffed toys in hot water to kill dust mites.
- Vacuum – Vacuum the carpets and upholstery in your home at least weekly. Most indoor air pollutants settle, living in the carpet, upholstery or other permeable materials.
- Ventilate – Use the ventilation fans in your bathroom and over your stove while cooking and showering. This will expel moisture (which causes mold and mildew) and other indoor air pollutants.
- Filter – The standard air filter in your home heating and cooling system doesn’t remove most allergy-causing indoor air pollutants. Upgrading your system to a more efficient filter can remove more airborne allergens.
- Sterilize – Mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria thrive in the cool damp environment created by your air conditioners coils. An ultraviolet lamp is designed to kill these indoor air pollutants, keeping them from circulating throughout your home.
- Seal – Many allergens and airborne pollutants enter your home through cracks, leaks or holes in your ductwork. Keep these harmful contaminants out of your home by getting your air ducts sealed.
Spring can be a beautiful time with blooming flowers, trees and great weather. But it can also be a major problem for allergy sufferers. Use this four-step plan to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
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