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How to Keep Allergens Out of Your Home

For those who suffer from springtime allergies, your home is considered to be your haven from the pollen and other outdoor triggers. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant, especially during the warmer months, against allergens—a substance that causes an allergic reaction.

Start with what’s already there

First, get rid of the allergens that already live in your home. The three most common indoor allergens are dust mites, mold/mildew, and pet dander. Tackle dust and pet dander by dusting your home and then vacuuming with a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to keep the allergens inside the vacuum and not creeping back out. Clean linens that aren’t consistently laundered, such as curtains or pillows, by washing or vacuuming.

Look for areas of your home that may be growing mold or mildew. The bathrooms and underneath the kitchen sink are common culprits of mold growth. Remember that it’s recommended to re-caulk your tub or shower once per year to prevent mold growth.

Prevent what comes in

Once the inside of your home is clean, you want it to stay that way. Pollen is one of the most obvious allergens, and you should take precautions to keep it at bay. Keep your windows and doors closed, especially at night and early morning hours, when pollen is usually emitted from plants. If you spend time outdoors, change your clothes when you come inside. Have two doormats—one inside and one out—to help keep shoes from tracking in pollen and other allergens. Make a no-shoes-in-the-house policy and stick to it.

Finally, consider what you’re carrying into your home. Even “good” items such as cleaning chemicals can include harmful allergens, so read the ingredients carefully and use green cleaning chemicals when you can.

Control the environment

One of the most important aspects of keeping allergens at bay is controlling the humidity in your home. If there’s too little moisture, allergen particles are more likely to fly around and irritate you. Too much moisture, and you could have a mold or mildew problem. It’s recommended to keep your home’s humidity around 40%. Use a hygrometer to keep tabs on the humidity, and use a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed.

Have more spring maintenance questions? Take a look at our checklist.

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