Minimize Allergies by Purifying Your Home
Would you believe that when NASA studied home air quality, they determined is was five times worse than the air outside! While that discovery is daunting, the good news is we can do something about it. Here are a few simple tips for reducing allergens and dust mites in each area of your home to make for a healthier living environment:
Replacing upholstered sofas and chairs with furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic will greatly reduce allergens. If possible, avoid using wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because smoke and gasses worsen respiratory allergies. However, natural gas fireplaces typically do not pose a problem. Keep knickknacks to a minimum because anything sitting around collects dust.
Choose bedding made of synthetic materials, and wash sheets and pillowcases at least once a week in very hot water. Also, wash blankets on a regular basis. To help with severe allergies, replace carpet with hardwood floors or linoleum. If you have carpet, use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and shampoo carpet frequently. Select curtains that are washable, and/or dust blinds regularly.
Make sure your stove is properly ventilated. Install and use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture. Clean sinks and counters daily to prevent any mold from growing. Store garbage and pet food in air-tight sealed containers.
Make sure your bathrooms have exhaust fans because they help reduce moisture generated by baths and showers. Encourage family members to towel dry the tub and shower walls after each use to cut-down on the growth of mold. Also, consider replacing any wallpaper with tile or painted walls.
It is important to vacuum and dust at least once a week to reduce the number of pollutants in the carpet and furniture. Turn on your central air system when vacuuming to catch airborne particles. Consider investing in a quality air purifier for your home, which will eliminate airborne contaminants.
Also, beautify your surroundings with live plants as they can help you breathe better by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing clean oxygen. According to the NASA study, some of the best plants for purifying the air include Golden Pothos, Boston Fern, Bamboo Palm, and Spider Plant. It's suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for the best quality of air.
If you have pets, they should not be allowed in your bedroom or where you sleep (although, for many of us, that might be a difficult tip to follow). Lastly, keep your home as cool and dry as possible, because hot, humid houses are breeding grounds for dust mites and mold.
Minimizing allergens in your home can be added work. However, the positive results of cleaner air and a healthier environment are well worth the extra time and energy.
Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors