You can’t get rid of allergens in your home altogether, but these tips will help reduce their effect. Here are five simple things you can do to cut down on dust, mold, and pollen.
1. Smart Landscaping
Make smart selections for the landscape. The yellow, sticky pollen that bees carry from plant to plant rarely causes allergic reactions. It’s the fine, lightweight particles that are blown about by wind that trigger discomfort. Avoid adding allergenic trees like maple (male), birch, and ash (male) to the landscape. Instead, choose low-allergy trees like dogwood, double-flowered cherry, and magnolia.
2. Reduce Dust Generators
Fabrics and carpeting generate help create dust by the breaking down of fibers. Consider pitching curtains, high-pile carpeting, and upholstered furniture in the bedroom: all cozy accommodations for allergens. If you must have carpeting, make it a short, tight pile and vacuum weekly with a cleaner with a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
3. Clean The Cleaning Room
Your bathroom is for mold; what your bedroom is for dust mites — heaven at home. Ensure that ventilation fans are routed to the outside, and run them for 30 minutes after a shower or bath. Regularly clean walls with a nontoxic cleaner.
4. Clean The Air
A well-ventilated house and non-leaking ductwork is the first line of defense against bringing allergens into your living space. Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in the air conditioning system. Maintain the humidity level in the house at about 50 percent. Mold likes moisture, and dust and pollen are easily stirred in dry air.
5. Remove Clutter
Clean up clutter—the less stuff in your house, the fewer places for allergens to hang out. And, just as important, the easier it will be to clean thoroughly once a week. Get rid of old rags, newspapers, clothes, and other porous items. Focus on bedrooms especially, because you and allergens both spend more time there.