The warmth and beauty of blooming flowers in the spring and summer are Minnesotans’s reward for braving another long winter. But for those who suffer from allergies, pollens and other allergens can make spring and summer a constant search for a box of tissues or run to the medicine cabinet. If you or family members suffer from allergies, you can’t change what’s happening outdoors. But there are some simple steps you can take indoors to help ease those spring and summer allergies.
Types of Indoor Allergens
Unfortunately, allergens aren’t confined to the outdoors. They live indoors, too, and usually fall under categories such as mold and mildew, pet dander and fur. Pollen can also invade your home from outdoors.
Start your spring anti-allergy campaign with a thorough spring cleaning. Vacuuming or even steam cleaning your carpets, rugs, and upholstery will pick up any dust and pet hair and help keep dust mites at bay. Then, vacuum and dust your home regularly throughout the season — it’s perhaps your number one defense against indoor allergens. Here are some other allergy-fighting tips that will help.
Leave allergens outside. You and your family can be carriers of allergens and irritants from outdoors. To avoid bringing them in your home, remove shoes before coming into the main part of the house. Wash your hands regularly — especially after coming in from outdoors. Shower after gardening or other outdoor activities. These simple precautions will help keep your home free of outdoor irritants.
Close windows and doors. It’s tempting to want to freshen your home with a cool summer breeze, but remember that allergens can enter your home along with the fresh air. If your family has sensitivities, it’s best to keep windows closed and use doors as infrequently as possible.
Give Fido a haircut and bath. If you have pets, keep them groomed. It will go a long way to keeping pet hair and dander from building up indoors.
Launder bedding regularly. The warmer, more humid months of summer are ideal for dust mites, especially in the bedroom. Use the hot cycles on your washer and dryer for best results. If you have especially sensitive family members, allergen-proof bedding may be an even better option.
Change your filters. Your HVAC filters are meant to keep dust, mold, and other irritants out of your home’s air. But they’re only effective if they’re changed regularly. Most experts recommend monthly inspection and changing filters as soon as they look dirty or clogged.
Keep humidity under control. Experts recommend keeping the humidity in your home at or below 60%. Higher than that, you’re inviting mold growth, which can have a serious impact on your family’s health. Portable humidifiers can help, but if you have a house-wide problem, you may want to look into adding a central de-humidifier to your HVAC system.
How an Air Purifier Can Help
If you’ve done all the right things and you’re still having indoor air quality problems, it may be time to invest in an air purifier — also known as an electronic air cleaner (EAC). An EAC is installed as part of your HVAC system and works to trap almost any allergen. It creates an electrostatic field (similar to “static electricity”) that is able to capture bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
At Stay Comfy, we recommend Carrier’s Infinity® Series of Air Purifiers for maintaining the freshest, healthiest air for your family.