If you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies, there are some simple ways to make your home more hospitable.
Step 1: Lower the pollen count Use high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters to capture airborne particles such as pollen. Use one filter in your bedroom and the other in the family room or other common space.
TIP: HEPA filters are rated for different-sized rooms; buy one that's big enough for the room you're using it in.
Step 2: Don't sleep with the enemy Dust mites can cause allergies – keep them out of your bed by washing pillows, sheets, blankets, and comforters at least every two weeks. Cover your pillows, mattress, and box spring in washable allergy covers for additional protection.
Step 3: Vacuum up the allergens Load your vacuum cleaner with a high-filtration bag and an exhaust filter and vacuum all carpeted areas regularly.
TIP: Invest in a hypo-allergenic vacuum sweeper that sucks up almost all the allergens in a carpeted area.
Step 4: Keep the mold under control To prevent mold, put all food items in vacuum-sealed storage containers and wipe down the refrigerator interior with baking soda and water. Wash shower curtains at least once a week to curb mildew and wipe down shower walls after a bath or shower. In the kitchen and bathroom, use a mildew-killing cleanser on the sink and countertops.
TIP: If you use a central air-conditioning system, install a humidifier to control the moisture level in the house.
Step 5: Close your windows Keep your windows closed during the spring and summer months to lock out pollen and other allergens. Keep curtains, window sills, and frames clean to prevent mold from growing. Doesn't it feel good to breathe easy?
FACT: Dust mites eat the skin cells shed by humans.