Spring is quickly approaching, so you may be feeling some anxiety over the dreaded seasonal allergies. The itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and fatigue associated with allergies can wreak havoc on your daily life, so your doctor may recommend various medications to reduce these symptoms. Unfortunately, you may experience drowsiness and fatigue while taking these medications. If you are part of the 50 million people suffering with nasal allergies, finding other ways to relieve your allergy symptoms is beneficial. Using this guide on home cleaning and maintenance, you can reduce your allergy symptoms without medication.
You may think you know how to clean your home properly, but it is important to place special emphasis on certain areas of your house if you have allergies. Dirt, dust, pet hair, and other allergens can quickly build up in and around your home, so use the following tips when cleaning your house:
- Dusting – Use an electrostatic cloth to dust furniture and other surfaces in your home each week. While furniture polishes and dusting sprays are effective for removing dusts, they may contain VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. These chemicals can cause irritation and respiratory problems, increasing your allergy symptoms.
- Vacuuming – Use a vacuum to clean carpeted flooring, rugs, upholstered furniture, and window treatments. Before vacuuming, ensure the container is clean and free of dirt and dust. Also, check your vacuum filter for trapped debris, since a clogged filter can cause allergens to move through the air while vacuuming.
- Change Linens – Remove, wash, and replace sheets, blankets, towels, and pillowcases periodically to reduce your contact to allergens that may linger in your bedding and bathroom accessories. Be sure to wash all hand towels, bath mats, and shower curtains, as well.
- Launder – After doing laundry, make sure to remove lint from the dryer's lint trap. Allowing the lint to build up inside the dryer can cause allergens to accumulate on clothes and linens in future loads of laundry. In addition, a clogged lint trap increases your risk of a dryer fire.
While surprising for many homeowners to learn, your heating and cooling system also plays a part in your allergies. Thankfully, you can reduce the amount of allergens in the home's air by focusing on a few elements of your heating and air conditioning system.
To get started, check your system's filters, which are responsible for trapping dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris before it flows into your home.
If you or a family member suffers with allergies, consider changing the filter every month. If using a reusable filter, wash in a tub containing warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Be sure to rinse and allow the filter to dry before reinserting into your register cover. It is also helpful to vacuum the interior opening of the vent cover to remove any buildup of dust and dirt.
Considering your system's ductwork transports conditioned air from the outdoor unit, it may also be moving dirt, dust, mold, and other allergens into your home's air. A duct-cleaning service will reduce the amount of allergens flowing into your home, reducing your allergy symptoms. Plus, cleaning out your air ducts will improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Not only will you experience an improved air quality, the duct-cleaning service may reduce your heating and cooling costs. At the same time you get your ducts cleaned, you could have your HVAC professional inspect your furnace to avoid the need for unexpected furnace repairs in the future.
Suffering with the symptoms of allergies can be overwhelming, but you do not need to experience the side effects of common prescription medications. Using these tips to clean and maintain your home, you can improve air quality and live a life with reduced allergy symptoms.