With spring just around the corner, many people are anxiously anticipating the warmer weather. But spring is not all sunshine and rainbows for everyone. For thousands of people, spring means allergy season. Pollen and allergens can make their way into your home, making it very difficult to escape the miserable allergy symptoms. In order to make your allergies less of a problem this year, spring cleaning is crucial. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind while cleaning:
1. Know Your Triggers:
Everyone responds to allergens differently. Determine which allergens are problematic for your family. Your course of action will vary depending on whether it’s indoor or outdoor allergens that are the problem. For indoor allergens such as pet hair, dust, and mold, 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 don’t know what is causing your allergies, here are some of the most common triggers to investigate:
- Cat and dog dander
- Tree, grass, and weed pollen
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
2. Get Rid of Standing Water Sources
If you are allergic to mold, survey your house and make sure that there are no leaks or puddles anywhere, as standing water is often a breeding ground for mold. Getting rid of the water will help alleviate your mold allergies.
3. Don’t Just Move Dust Around – Trap it
While feather dusters simply push the dust into the air (not helping anything), a damp paper towel or cloth can actually pick up/trap the dust so you can dispose of it.
4. Avoid Strong or Scented Chemicals
You may have never attributed your allergies to the cleaning chemicals, but it’s true – scentless cleaners or more natural cleaners such as vinegar and baking soda are better for people suffering with allergies.
5. Clear Dust from All Surfaces
Dust collects in the craziest places, especially the places you rarely think about cleaning. These spots can include window wells, window frames, ceiling fans, and door frames. Be very thorough in your search for dust.
6. Keep the House Cool and Dry
Dust mites and mold spores like warm, moist environments. In order to kill them, keep your house at 50% relative humidity or lower and fairly cool.
7. Wash or Replace Moldy Shower Curtains
Mold from the shower 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 Trapped Allergens
Carpets, rugs, and upholstery do a great job at trapping dust and allergens, but unless you clean these things, you are going to be suffering from allergies. You should vacuum weekly and have your carpets, rugs, and upholstery professionally cleaned every 3-4 months. When was the last time you had your home professionally cleaned? If it’s been too long, call the professionals.
9. Wash and Air out Bed Linens Regularly
You should wash your bedding every 1-2 weeks. Bed sheets collect tons of dust, skin flakes, and other particles that dust mites love to live on. If your allergies seem to pick up at night, make sure to keep your bedding, as well as your mattress and pillows, clean.
10. Change HVAC Filters Regularly
Change your filter every 6-12 months, or closer to every 90 days if your allergies are severe. Also be sure to set your MERV rating correctly. The majority of homes use filters rated between 7-12. Higher MERV ratings are not necessarily 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.
With these tips, we hope you have a more effective and successful spring cleaning this year. For more help on removing allergens and bacteria from your home, contact the clean home experts over at Omega Chem-Dry!