People seem to be suffering from allergies worse than usual this year – if you’re in that group, rest assured that you’re not imagining things. More recent studies indicate that given the amount of gardening people undertook in the midst of the pandemic, all sorts of allergens have populated the air and filtered through open windows, making it especially difficult for allergy sufferers to cope. However, even without the overzealous gardening that occurred during the pandemic, there are many ways in which the air quality indoors can be taxing on your health in the long term. If you find yourself coughing more often than you would like, or sneezing up a storm and not entirely sure why the following are some tips to help you keep your home safe and clean by reducing indoor allergens.
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Keep Things Clean
The first rule of thumb is to, of course, dust often. Dust brings with it a wealth of microorganisms and microbes that can agitate those particularly sensitive among us, and it accumulates faster than the eye can properly gauge. If you have pets, it is especially important to vacuum and dust the spaces whenever you can; every day is preferable. Also, consider mopping up the floors thoroughly at least once a week to ensure that your space is as clean and free of allergens as possible.
Air Conditioner Maintenance
If you live in a home with air conditioning, then congrats! At least you’re not one of the many, many people who have to suffer through the increasingly hot summers. That being said, air conditioners come with quite a bit of maintenance work, and neglecting to clean them will pretty much guarantee that your home will be filled with invisible indoor pollutants. To avoid this, two filters are needed to keep on hand, and they must be changed every year. A few details may depend on the model, so check the attendant care manuals that come with your air conditioning unit or HVAC system for guidance. But in general, you should always make sure that the filters are clean and in good working order.
Trust the Air Purifier
There are some allergens you may not be able to get rid of through cleaning all the time, or by ensuring that your air conditioning system is properly maintained. Air purifiers are a godsend and an absolute necessity for any allergy sufferer. Also, if you happen to be allergic to pets, but have no intention of giving up your beloved cat or dog, then an air purifier will surely help. Buy one for each of the most commonly used areas in the house, and you will soon find yourself breathing easy. There are different types of air purifiers, but make sure that yours comes with a HEPA grade filter, or invest in an ionic purifier that does a great job of capturing the irritants that may trigger any cumbersome symptoms. While it won’t completely eliminate all the problems you’re currently dealing with, getting an air purifier – or two, depending on how large your living space is – will help cut down on the allergens and indoor pollutants significantly.
Get a Better Handle on Humidity Levels
If your home is humid, then you may find yourself suffering quite a bit from allergies. This is because dust mites in particular thrive in moist environments. If you want to have better air quality in your home, then you should aim to keep the humidity at around thirty – fifty percent maximum. A dehumidifier will help reduce the moisture in the air and also trap different kinds of allergens. It will also help eliminate a chunk of the indoor pollen count if you happen to keep a few plants inside your home.
Keep Plants Outside
This is a nice segue into our final point, which is if you have indoor plants, then try to keep them to a minimum. Or, keep your plants outside the home, in your backyard, patio, or balcony if you have one. The pollen in plants is a huge irritant and will affect your health tremendously. While plants are always a nice decorative touch, it won’t really be worth the sacrifice if you are left struggling constantly with the sniffles.
Doing your best to keep the indoor environment clean, safe, and healthy for you and your family is mostly a matter of continual maintenance and due diligence. Clean whenever possible, and make sure that you invest in the proper air conditioning units and air purification systems that will help you breathe easy, rather than cause endless aggravation.