It’s common to experience seasonal allergies with the passing of the months, but did you know that indoor allergens can aggravate your allergies and asthma symptoms as well? Many people choose to stay inside when the pollen and mold levels are high. However, they could be doing more harm than good if they haven’t taken steps to improve their indoor air quality at home.
1. Replace Furnace Filters
When the cooler weather settles in, you’ll likely be cranking the heat in your home to stay comfortable. Unfortunately, common allergens like pet dander and dust can hide in your air ducts. Using a high-efficiency furnace filter can reduce the overall amount of harmful allergens that circulate throughout your home during the fall and winter months.
2. Change Your Bedding
Dust mites are often found living in pillows, sheets, mattresses, carpeting and other furniture around the home. To prevent dust-mites from getting too comfortable in your home, invest in allergen-proof covers to encase your mattress, box springs and pillows. Additionally, washing your bedding in hot water at least once a week can help to deter dust mites.
3. Keep It Clean
Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help to reduce indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander with ease. If you suffer from allergies, it can also be helpful to dust surfaces throughout the home with an electrostatic or microfiber cloth several times each week as well. Homes with wall-to-wall carpeting can also cause allergies to flare up because they trap common irritants easily. Hardwood is preferred for those who suffer from asthma or other chronic allergies.
4. Monitor Humidity
Winter weather conditions often result in dry air that can aggravate your symptoms. Utilizing a humidifier can help to prevent dryness, but if not used properly, they can also encourage mold growth if not monitored properly. The CDC recommends that homeowners keep indoor humidity below 50 percent to reduce mold growth and dust mites.
5. Care for Pets
Pets typically spend more time indoors during the winter, just like their owners. But a variety of allergens can be found in pet saliva and dander, and no breed is totally allergy-free. However, bathing your pets more frequently during the winter can help to reduce many of these allergens and keep everyone in the home feeling better.