With the allergy season at a high and with the winter months approaching, it is important to understand how allergies work. Preventing the spread of allergens in your home can be inexpensive, and the more steps you take, the more of a routine you will set in preventing you and your family from suffering from allergies all winter long.
What Are Allergies?
The air around us spreads allergens, which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Allergy symptoms typically include red and itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, a tight chest, itching, and a runny or stuffy nose. Indoor allergen sources include furniture, bedding, stuffed animals, carpet, and pets. The likelihood of allergic rhinitis or asthma going away on its own is about 1% per year. With this low likelihood, it is important to prepare your own home. Here are a few ways to help control allergens in your home.
How Can You Prevent Indoor Allergens?
The real estate market is soaring. The residential real estate's asset class is a $29 trillion market with another $10 trillion coming from the commercial sector. With more new homeowners, whether they are buying or building their homes, it is important to keep in mind the ways that indoor allergens can be prevented so families can enjoy their winters at home.
Cleaning is the first step to preventing indoor allergens in your home. This includes dusting and vacuuming frequently so that dust mites and animal hair do not settle into surfaces. Washing your carpets and furniture are also good areas to keep clean because they collect potential allergens easily. Cleaning bathrooms and kitchens are essential as well because trapped moisture can produce mold. The use of dehumidifiers is also handy, as they reduce dust mite and mold production.
How Can You Improve Your Home's Air Quality?
There are several ways you can improve your new or older home's air quality. Air filtration systems are utilized in homes to prevent the spread of indoor allergens. They filtrate cleaner air into your home, and you can expect nearly 99% of allergens and particles in your home to be removed by filtration systems. Additionally, when it comes to heating your home, be sure to replace the air filter in your furnace approximately every 90 days.
In your new home, keep in mind the moisture in the house's air. Again, the use of dehumidifiers is essential in reducing the indoor allergens in your home. Keeping your home's humidity level below 50% is the recommendation to prevent dust mite and mold production. The use of air conditioners, which some people use well into the winter months, is important to keep in mind as well. Air conditioning units need about 20 BTU per square foot of space and their usage in your home can affect your prevention of allergies. In fact, especially if they are not cleaned properly, they can worsen a person's allergies because they spread bacteria in the area. Be sure to clean your air conditioning units before you install them in your new home. Additionally, consider the usage of humidifiers and be sure to check the humidity levels in your home so the spread of indoor allergens are at a low in your home this coming winter.
Gas fireplaces are another great option because they produce little smoke. Central vacuuming systems are also helpful in reducing indoor allergens in the home because they will carry allergens right out of the central area of your house. People with severe allergies are recommended to stay inside with the windows closed and their home's heat or air on constantly. With a consistent temperature and a quality ventilation system in your home, the introduction of outdoor allergens into your home will be limited.
How Can You Build Your Home to Prevent Allergies?
If you are building a new home, there are several factors to specifically keep in mind when it comes to preventing indoor allergens from being a major issue in your house and for your loved ones. Hardwood flooring instead of carpeting in your new house will play a major factor in the spread of indoor allergens because carpeting and other soft areas hold dust mites and mold spores. Another important aspect of your new home would be sealing it up. Caulk, screening, and weatherstripping are inexpensive tools to keep pests and small animals out of the home. These tools seal cracks, holes, and spaces and cover vents leading to the outside of your home. Essentially, these tools keep your home cleaner and safer during allergy season.
When you are purchasing items for your new home, consider buying allergen-proof cases for your pillows, box springs, and mattresses. This will significantly reduce the number of indoor allergens living in your bedding. Investing in hardwood flooring as well as a quality air filtration system is a good idea as well.
If you are thinking about or are already in the process of buying or building your home, keep in mind all of these factors in order to reduce the number of indoor allergens in your home. Take these precautions so you and your family do not suffer this coming winter.