By: Michelle Tunquist
During the winter months we spend a lot of our time indoors. By the end of winter, we’ve spent months indoors with few chances to crack the windows and allow for some ventilation. Allergens can build up in the home and exacerbate allergies. A few simple tips can reduce the allergens in your home and make it a more pleasant place to spend time.
Most Common Allergens in Home
There are three main offenders in your home. They include:
- Dust Mites. These are tiny organisms that feed on dead skin. They are not visible without a microscope.
- Molds. These are fungus that like to grow in warm, damp areas.
- Pet Allergens. Pet dander (dead skin that flakes off the animal) is the most common pet allergen, but some people are allergic to their saliva and urine as well.
Ways to Reduce Allergens Throughout the Home
There are a few simple steps that can be taken to reduce allergens throughout the home. Consider:
- Replacing/Cleaning Carpet. Carpets can trap dust and pet dander, making it an ideal location for dust mites. If your allergies are severe, think about replacing your carpet with hard floors: hardwood, laminate or tile. However, if you love your carpet, vacuum frequently and get it professionally cleaned more often.
- Reducing Soft Furnishings. Soft furniture, curtains and pillows can also collect dust just like carpets. Think about using metal or wood blinds instead of curtains and remove large pillows from couches.
- Increasing Ventilation. Molds and dust mites prefer warm, damp areas. Improving the ventilation in the home will reduce dampness and make the environment less conducive to mold growth. Crack the windows when weather allows or consider installing a HEPA ventilation system.
- Using a Dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers can remove moisture from the air and make your home less damp. This will make it so that mold is less likely to grow.
- Lowering Heat. Lower the temperature of your home so that dust mites and mold do not flourish. This has the added benefit of lowering your electrical bill.
- Using HEPA Filters in Vacuums. Frequent cleaning using a vacuum with a HEPA filter is a great way to reduce allergens.
Reduce Allergens in the Bedroom
There are a few places in the home that allergens can be especially problematic. Beds are a prime location for allergens. A few easy steps can reduce these problems.
Main Offenders: Dust Mites & Pet Allergens
- Change Sheets Regularly. Sleeping in the bed overnight makes beds a prime spot for dust mites. Sweating under the sheets can also make the bed damp, another desirable trait. Change sheets frequently and it will limit dust mites. Clean them in as warm of water as possible to kill all dust mites in the wash.
- Limit Soft Furnishings. Lots of pillows are a preferred decoration in the bedroom. Dust can easily collect on soft surfaces, making pillows, curtains, and bedspreads in the bedroom ideal locations for dust mites. Only use as much bedding as necessary to sleep comfortably.
- Keep Pets Out of Bedrooms. If you don’t want to get rid of your pet, but still want to keep your allergies under control, it is a good idea to keep the pets out of the bedroom. This will reduce allergens in a place where you spend many hours every night. Pet dander can stick to sheets, blankets and pillows. Keep the pets away to reduce this problem.
Reduce Allergens in the Bathroom
Bathrooms are warm and damp, making them another great place for allergens to reside. Frequent cleaning and good ventilation can reduce the problem.
Main Offenders: Mold
- Clean Regularly with Mold Killing Cleaning Supplies. Prevent mold by regularly cleaning the bathroom using mold killing cleaning supplies. Environmentally friendly supplies can be found to remove mold.
- Use a Fan. Bathroom fans increase ventilation in the bathroom and reduce mold growth. Use the fan while showering and to remove excess steam after the shower.
- Open Windows when possible. Cracking the window and keeping the bathroom door open will also improve ventilation and remove dampness.
Reduce Allergens in the Kitchen
Kitchens are another room susceptible to dampness. They can be warm and damp, making it easy for mold to grow. Stop allergens by keeping the room clean and well ventilated.
Main Offenders: Mold
- Clean Regularly. Regular cleaning is your best defense against the accumulation of allergens. Keep the kitchen clean and dry to prevent mold.
- Use Ventilators Over the Stove. Ventilation systems over the stove can move air and prevent problems.
- Keep Ventilated with Windows. Think about keeping the windows cracked when cooking to keep air moving.
Professional Mold Removal
Mold is everywhere. It can enter your home through windows, doors and through your HVAC system. They love moisture and grow in warm, damp areas of your home. High humidity can help mold grow. While it is best to prevent mold growth when possible, sometimes it is necessary to have mold that is already present removed from the home by a professional. High levels of mold in the home can cause health issues. If your home already has a mold problem, call a professional to remove the mold safely and quickly.
Tobin Cleaning and Restoration Removes Mold
Tobin Cleaning and Restoration can help reduce the allergens in your home by:
- Professionally Cleaning Your Carpets
- Professionally Cleaning Soft Furniture/Items in Your Home
- Replacing Carpets with Hard Flooring
- Removing Mold
Give us a call today to find out what we can do for you!