6 Steps to an Allergy Free Home
It’s probably safe to say that no one is a fan of having allergies. A runny nose, itchy throat, watering eyes and relentless bouts of sneezing are some of the symptoms you may be familiar with. Although most people link allergens to the outdoors (especially springtime in Kelowna), your home could be a major factor in the intensity of your allergic reactions. If a house is not cared for properly, allergens will begin to build up in and on all the surfaces you live around.
If you or a loved one struggles with allergies, follow these six steps in your home to reduce the amount of allergens you are exposed to.
1. Carpets – Remove or Deep Clean
If your home contains any carpeting, you should consider replacing it in the near future, converting to a hard surface such as hardwood, tile or laminate. Carpets are magnets for allergens such as dust and pet dander. Once a carpeted surface has collected allergens, it will be very difficult for you to completely remove them. Simply vacuuming once in awhile won’t do the trick; imagine your car driving through a series of dirty puddles verses your dog running through the same puddles. The car can be easily washed clean with a little water, just like laminate flooring, while your muddy puppy is going to require a full scrub down with soap.
If you are adamant about keeping your carpets, have them deep cleaned with a hot water extraction a couple of times per year. Don’t forget the smaller mats and rugs you may have around your home, such as the bath mat by your shower; these items need to be thoroughly washed often as well.
2. Reduce Your Clutter to Reduce the Dust
The more “things” you have in your home, the harder it is to clean. Not only does clutter prevent you from easily cleaning your home, it actually creates more surface area for dust and other allergens to settle on. Your home should be dusted weekly to stop allergens from building up and as an added bonus, a dust free home always looks fresh and almost sparkles to guests who are entering your home.
Decluttering your home is not cleaning up once and throwing a few things out; it’s a mindset.
Check out this article on conquering clutter to get on the path to a cleaner home and mind.
3. Keep Windows Closed
This is especially important during times of the year when your allergies seem to be at their worst. Utilize your air conditioning and fans to move air throughout your home instead of a natural breeze full of pollen. Take extra care to ensure windows are closed when you, or your neighbours are cutting the grass which can send many individuals into an allergy attack.
4. Change Filters
There are several filters throughout your home that do an amazing job at catching and collecting allergens. The only problem is, if they are not changed and cleaned often, you will have a large collection of irritants constantly being blown directly into your living space. Ensure that you change the filters on your furnace and airconditioner as frequently as the manufacturer recommends. This not only keeps your air clean, but it actually helps your HVAC system run more efficiently, saving you from higher energy bills and costly breakdowns.
If you are one of the stubborn homeowners that wants to keep their carpeting, remember to change the filter on your vacuum often. When cleaning and emptying the unit, take it outside to prevent errant dust and dirt from getting back into your home.
TIP -> Not all vacuums are created equal when it comes to cleaning and reducing the amount of allergens. Look for a unit that has a completely sealed HEPA filter, coupled with stronga suction force.
5. Wash often
Any materials in your living space that you touch often should be washed frequently with hot water. Bed linen can hold dust mites, dead skin cells and pet dander. Aim to wash these weekly. And don’t forget the blanket that you curl up with on your couch as well!
When washing fabrics that are frequently close to your skin, ensure you are using a hypoallergenic detergent. Some soaps and detergents with strong fragrances, dyes and brighteners can irritate sensitive individuals, causing allergy symptoms and even rashes on the skin.
6. Clean Clean Clean
Freshly cleaned surfaces are the best defence against allergens. A clean home will have your family breathing free and clear, saving you money on allergy medications and potential asthma treatments down the road.
Having troubling keeping up with the cleaning duties around your home? We hear you. Between work, family and weekend activities, it can be hard to find the time to properly clean your home. Recently we wrote an article about how affordable hiring a cleaner for your home can be! Check it out and give us a call today to see how the team at All About the Details Cleaning can help you keep a spotless, allergen free home.