As a lifelong allergy sufferer, I’m well aware that windows, with their direct access to the outdoors, can have a significant impact on symptoms. Fortunately, it is possible to allergy proof your windows–if you keep a few tips in mind.
Open or Closed?
If you suffer from allergies, you don’t always have to have the windows closed … just most of the time, unfortunately.
- Close your windows during warm weather and use air-conditioning, especially when humidity is high. Also keep windows shut when conditions are damp: Moisture sends mold spores into the air, which causes symptoms for many allergy sufferers. Because grasses, trees and weeds tend to pollinate during the early morning hours, keep windows closed at this time until mid afternoon. Also, avoid sleeping with the windows open.
- Open your windows from the mid-afternoon until before you go to bed if the humidity is below 50 percent outdoors. As an extra precaution, you can install pollen-proof screens, which have especially small openings that prevent more than 90 percent of common plant allergens from getting inside your home.
Keep it Clean
Dirty, dusty windows are a breeding ground for allergy causing dust mites. Dust is particularly prone to building up on flat surfaces such as the windowsill. Keep the windows allergy-free by regularly damp-dusting with a 5-percent bleach solution. The will rid the area of mites and mold spores, and the damp cloth will prevent the dust from flying into the air and irritating you. For extra protection, wear a dust mask when cleaning windows.
Hang Allergy-Resistant Window Coverings
Dust-catching window coverings, such as heavy drapes and blinds with small slats that are hard to clean, are notorious breeding grounds for dust mites. Better choices include window shades and blinds or shutters with large slats that can be easily vacuumed. Clean blinds, shutters and shades weekly with a vacuum that features a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, and damp clean them once every three to six months.
A nearly allergen-free window covering option is privacy window film. Apply this directly to the window, which gives it a frosted look. It also reduces glare and UV rays.
If you must hang curtains, choose lightweight fabric that is washable. Washing the curtains in hot water every three months will keep them from building up dust mites.
It can be a lot of effort, but try these allergy fighting tactics with your windows, and with luck, you can prevent many allergens from getting inside and making your miserable. Avoiding the sneezing and sniffles is definitely worth the effort.
What household tricks have helped you with your allergies? Tell us below!