Ways to Reduce Allergens In Your Home
According to Science Daily.com an allergen is,”… any substance (antigen), most often eaten or inhaled, that is recognized by the immune system and causes an allergic reaction.”
Potential allergens exist almost everywhere, but they especially like to take up residence in your home. They can be deposited on our skin or inhaled while breathing. Some of the most common allergens include dust, mold, plant pollen, perfumes, animal dander, and air fresheners. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place that has grass, trees, and other flora, as nice as these are to the eye, they can also be a source of pollen, which is a hugely common allergen.
So how do we enjoy our homes while these allergens are doing their best to destroy our health and otherwise pleasant days? It’s not as difficult as you think to reduce home allergens. It just takes a little time, some vigilance, and a dash of patience. But with these tips, you can greatly reduce the allergens in your home and increase the wonderful memories you’ll make being allergen free.
A Clean Home is a Happy Home
Everyone knows that keeping a house clean is important when it comes to reducing allergens in your home, but did you know you should dust before vacuuming? This is because when you dust you’re creating a mini-storm of the stuff and some will settle on your rag, but some will be carried off the surface and stick to the floor. So if you vacuum afterwards, it will then suck up the dust from the floor, leaving you with fewer allergens.
Another helpful tool is to use a vacuum with what’s called a HEPA filter. This stands for “high-efficiency particulate air”. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter that forces the air through a fine mesh that then traps the allergens more effectively than a normal vacuum could. They are also found in air filters (which we’ll get to in a moment).
Be vigilant about cleaning the things that you don’t regularly clean, such as window treatments, area rugs, throw pillows, duvet covers, and quilts. Make sure to vacuum under your bed. After all, we spend about 7 or 8 hours a night sleeping in it, so make sure whatever is lurking underneath isn’t being breathed into your body.
Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. It might seem like an expensive solution, but they work to remove most of the dust mites and other tiny allergens you can’t see but are regularly breathing in. Air purifiers can also help reduce the amount of pet dander and smoke particles in the home. Here’s a guide to buying the kind of filter that’s best for you.
Pesky Pet Allergies
Speaking of pet dander- don’t forget about the dog or cat! To reduce the dust and pet dander in your home, make sure you bathe your pet as often as you would your bed sheets. Keeping your dog clean is a win for everyone, as Fido may be affected by allergens too.
Leave Allergens Outside
Remember to change your clothes after you work in the yard or garden and make sure kids wash their hands after they play outside. This keeps allergens off of our bodies and stops the spread of outdoor allergens from taking over the house.
Allergens In the Kitchen
Last, but certainly not least, is the kitchen. What kind of allergens are hanging out while you’re making lunch, you ask? Turns out, quite a few. In your stove, make sure to install a vent with an exhaust fan to remove moisture. Now, most stoves come with hoods that only filter the particles from cooking and they don’t vent outside the kitchen. It’s a simple installation and one that will make great strides in reducing allergens. Make sure to not just wash your dishes everyday, but your faucets as well, as they can get food and dirt trapped underneath them.
Clean your cabinets and countertops with a cleaning solution that is organic so if someone prepares food on your countertop, they won’t be consuming anything harmful. But keep the countertop and also the cabinets free of moisture, as mold loves to grow in a damp area around food storage. Check your cabinets under the sink for any possible leaks.
Don’t forget to wipe down your fridge to avoid mold and throw out that out-of-date food. Take a look at the rubber seals that border your door and check to see if there’s any mold growth. If there is, replace these with new ones. Make sure to store all food, even food inside the fridge, in air-tight containers. These are all simple, relatively inexpensive steps to take, but they will exponentially help your health and the health of your loved ones.