Spring cleaning can be a great way to alleviate your allergies. Allergens tend to lurk around your home, making your allergy symptoms worse. Fortunately, you can remove them from your house and breathe easier. Here are 10 simple steps to spring clean for your allergies.
1. Understand Your Triggers:
A good first step is to figure out which allergens trigger symptoms in you or your family. Indoor and outdoor allergens require different responses. A list of indoor allergens can include pet hair, dust, and mold. To get rid of them open your windows to air out the house. For outdoor allergens like grass or tree pollen, close your windows to keep them out.
If you can’t figure out what’s triggering your symptoms, check out some of the most common allergens to investigate:
- Cat and dog dander
- Tree, grass, and weed pollen
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
2. Eliminate Standing Water Sources
Standing water easily leads to mold. That’s why it’s a good idea to check and make sure that nothing in your house is leaking or has standing water sitting around to help alleviate any mold-related allergies.
3. Trap the Dust
Feather dusters usually push dust into the air, making you more likely to breathe it in. We recommend using a damp cloth or paper towel to trap the dust instead so you can actually dispose of it.
4. Avoid the Use of Strong or Scented Chemicals
These types of chemicals can actually exacerbate your allergies. Consider trading them out for more natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.
5. Clear the Dust Off All of Your Surfaces
Dust can build in places you don’t always think about. Some common offenders include window sills, window frames, door frames, and ceiling fans.
6. Keep Your Home Cool and Dry
Your house should be at 50% relative humidity or lower. This will make your home less of a haven for dust mites and mold spores.
7. Replace or Scrub Moldy Shower Curtains
Mold from shower curtains can trigger allergies and also spread to other parts of the home, especially in warmer months. Check the care tag on your shower curtain; often you can just throw it in the wash and hang it back up to dry. Also, try to reduce the moisture and humidity in your bathroom to prevent future mold growth.
8. Remove Any Trapped Allergens
Carpet, rugs, and upholstered furniture act as air filters for your home. That’s actually a good thing for your air quality, but only if you vacuum them weekly. They ideally need to be cleaned professionally every 3-4 months. If it’s been a little while since you’ve had your carpets and furniture cleaned, it’s time to call North American Chem-Dry.
9. Air Out and Clean Bed Linens Regularly
We recommend washing your bedding every 1-2 weeks. This will get out the dust, skin flakes, and more that our sheets collect. If you find that you have bad allergies at night, clean your mattress and pillows too to see if it helps.
10. Change Out HVAC Filters Frequently
You should change your filters every 6-12 months, or closer to every 90 days if your allergies are severe. Also be sure to set your MERV rating correctly. Most homes will use filters rated between 7-12. A higher MERV rating does not always mean the filter is better. A rating that’s too high reduces airflow, which can actually make things worse. Do some research on your system to find the highest rating that still allows maximum airflow.