Allergens, Germs, Mess, Oh My – 7 Ways to Create a Healthy Home Environment for Your Family
Millions of people with allergies assume they have dust allergies, but many are reacting to substances like pollen, pet dander, and chemicals in the home. Regardless of what causes your allergies, you can take steps to make your home a safer environment that helps prevent reactions.
Choose Furniture That Keeps Your Home Healthy
A lot of fabric-covered furniture traps dust, dander, and other allergens. Cleaning your furniture often can help reduce reactions, but it’s unlikely that you can eliminate the problem until you find an allergen-friendly sofa.
Allergen-friendly sofas often have a fabric that you can clean easily. They also have removable cushions so you can vacuum up detritus stuck in the couch.
Remove Allergens From Your Carpets
Some of the best-selling carpets contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that slowly release into your home’s air. VOCs from carpets can cause several allergic reactions, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
Some states have regulations that prevent companies from installing carpeting that releases too many VOCs. For the sake of everyone in your household, always research new carpeting to make sure it’s safe for your home.
Even if you choose safe carpeting, you still need to know how to take care of it. You can remove the most allergens when you vacuum in a crisscross pattern. Doing so will help ensure that you suck out all the dust and dirt.
For extra cleaning, have a professional clean your carpeting at least once every 18 months.
Replace Your HVAC Filter About Once Per Month
Your HVAC filter can do an excellent job removing dust, dirt, and other allergens from the air. A clogged filter, however, cannot do its job well. Instead, it will force your heating and cooling system to work harder, which will only result in higher utility bills.
In most cases, replace your HVAC filter once per month. If you live in a place with temperate spring and fall seasons, though, you might not need to replace the filter monthly. Every six weeks could do the job.
When in doubt, pull out your air filter and inspect it for discoloration. If the filter looks white instead of gray or dark gray, it still has some life left in it. Signs of discoloration mean that it’s time to replace the filter for better efficiency and cleaner air.
Clean All Surfaces Often
Every surface in your house creates a place for dust to accumulate. Dust your furniture, lamps, electronics, and other items at least once per week.
It’s easy to forget some surfaces, so make sure you check areas like the molding along your floor, electronic screens that attract dust, the feet of furniture and floor lamps, and underneath furniture. Any surface in your home will catch and store allergens. Don’t let it get out of control.
Wash Fabrics, Including Curtains and Pillows
Curtains, pillows, and other items made from fabric can collect allergens. When you plop down against a comfortable throw pillow, you get a nose-full of allergens.
You can protect allergy-prone housemates by washing fabrics once a week or month, depending on how dirty they get. You may find that you have some fabric items that require dry cleaning. Don’t take the risk of putting these items in your washing machine. Cleaning them the wrong way could ruin them.
Keep Food in Airtight Containers
Not all allergens come from airborne particles. Insect and rodent droppings can also cause allergens, even though you can’t always spot these droppings easily. Mice can squeeze into tight spaces. Droppings from roaches are so small that you might not see them.
Besides cleaning your kitchen often, store all food in airtight containers that make it impossible for pests to access or smell your food. The less attractive you make your kitchen to rodents and insects, the less likely they will be to leave allergy-inducing droppings in your home.
Open Your Windows for a Breath of Fresh Air
Many people think that outdoor air contains a lot of harmful pollution. Outdoor air can have pollution, but the pollution levels vary significantly depending on your location. More often than not, the outdoor air contains less pollution than your indoor air.
While air in the great outdoors may contain a lot of allergens, the wind will blow impurities around instead of letting them collect in specific places. The air inside your home, however, doesn’t have anywhere to go. Pollutants and allergens collect, making your indoor air quality unhealthy.
On pleasant days, open your windows to let the breeze blow some impurities from your home. An hour of open windows can do remarkable things for the quality of your indoor air.
Allergens can cause a lot of problems, so try some of these steps to make your home a safer place to be. Your sinuses will thank you for the effort!
About The Author: Kristina Marshall is a stay-at-home blogger. After having kids, she began sharing some of my diy tricks for around the house with people in the community. She actually started answering some questions on Yahoo and Quora, now she writes full articles on tips for around the house, lifestyle tips, etc.
Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash
- Additions and New Construction
- All Exteriors
- Customer Service
- Customer Stories
- Design & Planning Show
- Educational Resources
- Extreme Makeover Home Edition
- Fashion Show
- General Remodeling
- Green Living
- Handyman Home Services
- Home Decor
- Home Entertainment
- Home Improvement
- Home Improvements
- How to Tips
- In The Community
- Off-the-Wall Remodeling Stories
- Social Media
- Tips & Tricks