Millions of people suffer from allergies, about 20% of US population, and the number predicted to be rising. Dr. Jay Portnoy, director of allergy, asthma and immunology at Children’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. stated “For one thing, climate change and rising carbon monoxide levels have created an environment that is more hospitable to the growth of allergens such as mold.” According to the Center for Disease Control, “Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. It is no wonder that we need to reduce the amount of allergens in our home. Here are a few tips to help.
Reduce clutter! Limit knickknacks, magazines, and other dust catchers. Get rid of old newspapers, rags, and clothes that no one is wearing (which makes more room in the closet) The less stuff in the house means the house will be easier to thoroughly clean once a week and allergens will have less places to hang out. Focuses on the bedrooms because that is where you spend a lot of time and so do the allergens.
In the bathroom, scrub away any mold on pipes and fixtures and fix any leaks. If you have ventilation fans in the bathroom that are routed outside, run them for 30 minutes after a shower or bath. Clean walls with a non-toxic cleaner regularly. This will cut down on mold in the bathroom.
To clean the air in your home, use HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) filters. Mold likes moisture and dust and pollen are easy to stir up in dry air, so maintain the humidity level at 50%. Pollen counts are highest between 10am and 3pm and during windy weather, so keep the windows closed during these times.
Dust is generated by fabrics and carpet due to the breakdown of fabric. If you must have carpet, chose a short, tight pile and vacuum weekly with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. A better chose is washable throw rugs over linoleum, tile or wood floors. Use curtains that are made of plain cotton or synthetic fiber. Get rid of horizontal blinds and use washable roller type shades.
Look at the landscaping around your home. Certain trees and flowers produce a lot of pollen. This means that there is more pollen to get inside your home.
For more tips on reducing allergens in your home, you should check out http://www.mayoclinic.org, http://www.webmd.com, http://www.health.com, and even http://www.diynetwork.com.
Written by Tayna Vy, 941-955-2224