Start stockpiling tissues…the worst winter in years is about to give way to the worst allergy season. Allergists are predicting a sneezy spring because of the long, cold winter and higher-than-average snowfall.
Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies and this year will be especially tough.
Although we cannot control Mother Nature, there is plenty you can do make your home more comfortable by reducing allergens and irritants and preventing them from making your home a permanent staycation.
Recognizing the importance of indoor quality is imperative. Allergies, asthma, eczema, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sinusitis, and bronchial problems are all medical conditions that have been linked to poor indoor air quality. Indoor air can be 5 times more polluted than the air outside. The EPA ranks indoor air as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health.
Here are some simple steps to make the air you family breathes cleaner and healthier:
- Controlling the temperature in your home is a great way to control allergens. If you have a programmable thermostat, set the temperature to 70 during the day and 65during the night. Make sure to keep an eye on the humidity level also, no lower than 40 or 50. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? You can get one here at Amazon.
- Change your filters and have your ducts cleaned. Dust, pet dander and mold can collect in filters and ducts if they are not cleaned regularly.
- Vacuum rugs often and have your rugs shampooed. Make sure you check ingredients, as some cleaners have strong odors that can trigger allergies.
- I know pets are like members of the family, but if you are suffering with allergies, try to keep the family cat or dog off furniture that can trap pet hair and pet dander. For example, any place where you rest your head, like a fabric sofa or on the bed, should be kept free of hair.
- Wash bed sheets often. You can also purchase pillow and mattress covers that provide a special barrier against dust mites. Also keep in mind that line drying your clothes and sheets outside is only re-exposing them to everything you just washed off.
- Keep your bathroom clean. Mold grows in damp environments and is a major cause of severe allergies.
- Keep you refrigerator clean. Food that sits beyond its expiration date begins to grow mold. You don’t want that sitting near food you are going to eat.
- Donate or pack up old books. I hang on to those text books from college thinking I may need to refer back to them one day. But old books sitting around on shelves are huge collectors of dust, which increase allergens.
- Be sure to wash your hands often, as this is the fastest way to spread allergens
- *Install a LUX TX1500U fully programmable thermostat (get yours at Amazon). You can set specific temperatures, times and days of the week. And it has a graphical filter monitor which takes the guess-work out of knowing if your circulating air is clean or dirty and let you know when filters need to be cleaned. A programmable thermostat that improves the quality of your air and saves you money!!