Sneeze Alert: How to Control Allergens In Your Home
When the sniffles and sneezes of allergies hit, many people blame outdoor allergens like pollen, ragweed, and moldy piles of leaves. But some of the peskiest allergens lurk inside your home. The most prevalent ones include dust mites, pollen, mold, and pet dander. Reactions to indoor allergens can be the same as outdoor allergy symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.
The more you know about indoor allergies, the better you’ll be able to help fight them. Here’s what you can do in your home:
When it comes to indoor allergens, moisture is not your friend. It’s a breeding ground for mold and fungi, and it attracts allergenic pests. Use a hygrometer to measure the exact moisture levels in each room. Then, run an electric dehumidifier to lower the humidity level in your house below 45 percent. Make sure to drain the dehumidifier when it fills, and clean the collection bucket and coils. A poorly maintained dehumidifier can reduce its benefits.
Encourage air flow
Of course you want your decorating style to flow from room to room—but it’s just as important to let the air flow. Open doors between rooms; use fans to increase air flow, and move furniture away from windows and walls. Clean out air ducts, and replace filters on HVAC units as recommended.
Use central air
The best way to filter the air in your home is to attach a HEPA filter to your central air conditioning unit, and run the AC often. Freestanding air cleaners will only filter air in a single room. But if you have central air, a whole-house HEPA filter attachment will help trap mold spores and debris from your entire home.
Maintain your home
Repair roof leaks and dripping pipes. Clean gutters, and check for proper water flow.
Contact your health care professional, if you suspect you or a family member may have allergies. You can find products at Bed Bath & Beyond to help control allergens in your home.
Content provided by HealthyWomen.org.