How to Allergy-proof the Home
by Ruby Bayan
Various allergies are triggered by indoor allergens like mold, dust and pet dander. Pollen that makes its way into the house can also be a source of allergies. House dust mite droppings and pet saliva cause severe reactions to those who are sensitive. How to allergy-proof your home? Here are some suggestions.
What you'll need:
Hepa vacuum cleaner
Bleach or hydrogen peroxide
What to do:
1. Eliminate mold and mildew. Mold spores rank high in the list of indoor allergens. They thrive on areas exposed to water leaks and heavy moisture. They grow in damp and dark places like basements, bathroom corners and under the kitchen sink. As soon as you see signs of mold, scrub them down with a rag dipped in a mild bleach solution (one part bleach to 10 parts water) or hydrogen peroxide.
2. Prevent mold and mildew. Address the source of the mold growth. Patch up water leaks. Add an exhaust fan to the bathroom to circulate the air and minimize moisture retention. Get a dehumidifier to lower moisture levels in the house. Check bathroom corners and under the sink regularly to detect possible causes of mold growth.
3. Keep windows closed during pollen season. Spring and fall are peak seasons for pollen dispersal and the resulting allergic reactions. Keep doors and windows closed, especially at night and early morning.
4. Clean air filters regularly. However careful we are, outdoor allergens will somehow manage to enter our homes. Once inside, the only way to get of them is through the house's air filters. Choose filters that have a high particle filter count if you are highly sensitive to dust, pollen, and pet dander. Replace filters regularly.
5. Vacuum dust, dirt and pet fur and dander. Use a good quality hepa vacuum cleaner to suck up all the allergens that have settled on the floor. Be more diligent about vacuuming if you have carpet floors because carpet fibers harbor more dust and allergens than hard surface floors.
6. Use clean bedding. Dust mites thrive in pillows, mattresses and beddings because they feed on shed human skin and propagate in the humid conditions provided by a sleeping human body. Hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers are tightly woven and do not hold moisture, making them poor habitats for dust mites. For regular beddings, change them weekly and wash them in hot water.
7. Groom furry pets regularly and keep them out of the bedroom. Allergies to pet dander can be minimized by keeping furry pets groomed regularly. Brush their hair outside the house and keep them away from the bedroom of someone who has allergies. Consider keeping a pet-free home.
Air purifiers are also gaining ground in the average home. Consider investing in one if your family suffers from indoor allergies.
Consider changing your carpet floors to hardwood or laminate.
Minimize the use of fabric curtains because they cause and accumulate dust and other particles.
EMedicineHealth: Indoor Allergens
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Contributed to eHow.com by Ruby Bayan, Home & Garden Topic Expert 2007-2010
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