12 Steps to Allergy-Proof Your Home
With the start of the new year, it’s a great time to create New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like most Americans, we’re better at keeping up with the Kardashians than we are at keeping up with our resolutions.
Luckily, here’s one resolution that should be easy to keep: allergy-proofing your home. For those suffering from allergies or other respiratory conditions, it’s important to reduce your exposure to allergens. Here are just a few tips to get you started.
Bed and bedding – Pillows, mattresses and box springs should be encased in dust-mite covers. Also, wash your blankets, pillow cases and sheets at least once a week.
Flooring – If possible, use hardwood or linoleum flooring. If you must use carpet, vacuum it frequently with a vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Clutter – Keep the clutter to a minimum by removing items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, books and magazines. Your ceramic owl collection might be doing you more harm than good.
Air filtration – Use an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter.
Sink – Wash your dishes and scrub your sink every day. (This probably isn’t the best way to do it.)
Ventilation – Does your bathroom have an exhaust fan? If so, use it; if not, get one. (Not this kind of fan.)
Walls – Use a mold-resistant paint and avoid using wallpaper. Wallpaper can retain many allergens.
Shower and tub – Use your towel to dry the tub after each use. Use bleach to remove mold from the tub, shower and faucets. Replace moldy or mildew stained shower curtains (because, yuck).
Furniture – Upholstered chairs and couches can be replaced with more allergen resistant furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. All this beautiful space needs is a leather couch. 😉
Temperature and humidity – Clean or replace filters in hat least once a month. Maintain heating and cooling systems between 68 F and 72 F and keep relative humidity no higher than 50 percent.
Weekly cleaning routine – Clean, clean, clean at least once a week. Wood or linoleum floors should be wet mopped. Doors, door frames, window frames and other surfaces should also be cleaned with damp cloth to keep dust from spreading. If you aren’t naturally a neat freak, consider hiring someone to do your cleaning for you. (P.S. That also makes it much easier to keep this particular resolution.)
Smoking – Don’t allow smoking in your house.