It’s finally spring, even though many of us felt it would never happen. Some dread the outdoors in spring and summer. Pollen allergies can wreak some havoc.
But there are also allergens in our homes at any time of the year, with spring and summer increasing the hazards that we find in our carpets, furnishings and throughout the house.
An allergen is something that causes an allergic reaction. In our homes, this can mean dust, mites, spores, molds and deposits made by insects. So take a good look around your house and see what can be done to reduce or eliminate allergens that cause so much discomfort.
Carpets and furnishings need to be vacuumed regularly to get rid of mites, dust and dirt that cause sneezing, runny noses and upper respiratory discomfort. Vacuum all rugs and carpets weekly and dust frequently.
Wash sheets and bedding at least bi-weekly if not weekly (vacuum mattresses once a month) and ensure that the wash is hot. Vacuum window treatments and keep fans clean, as they can quickly spread dust and dirt.
Opening windows on low pollen days will circulate clean air. Use air conditioning as little as possible. Air conditioners and furnaces need to be kept in good order.
Avoid clutter and too many knickknacks and fake plants, as they can be excessive dust collectors. Eliminate what you don’t need, and keep what you do need well dusted.
This goes for newspapers, book shelves and the like. While a home should have plenty of character, cleanliness is important for allergen elimination.
Groupon and other coupon services have great deals for household cleaning. Natural cleaners like lemons, limes, borax, vinegar and baking soda are good for people with allergies and better for the environment.
Mold is dangerous. Homes need to be checked for mold, and damp areas need to be treated. When it comes to potentially wet places like bathrooms and basements, Health.com has a warning.
“Moist bathroom or basement walls love to breed mold. Wipe them down with a chlorine-bleach solution (1 ounce bleach to 1 quart H2O) to keep fungus at bay. In the fall, mold also moves indoors via wet leaves on shoes and damp firewood.