Depending on what heat, humidity or air conditioning systems you use, you may be helping or hindering your allergen control efforts. Here are some tips on how to use these systems to reduce indoor allergens.
CLEAN YOUR HEATER
Forced-air heating can blow dust into your home. Make sure to clean the filters regularly to keep dust particles down.
When it’s too cold out for the air conditioner, use a dehumidifier to keep the air dry. This will help prevent the spread of mould.
FILTER THE AIR
Use a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. This will help to rid your home of dust and other allergens.
LOW TECH TIP
Keep bathroom windows open while showering to let out moist air and help prevent mould and mildew. But keep windows closed in other rooms to help make sure outdoor allergens don’t get in.
ALLERGY TIPS BY ROOM
There are opportunities to reduce allergens in every room. Here’s a room-by-room breakdown showing what types of surfaces attract which allergens, and the areas that can be particularly troublesome.
The kitchen is not the first place people think of as harbouring allergies. But damp surfaces can trap mould or other allergens.
- Wash dishes daily, and scrub the sink and taps to remove mould and debris.
- Clean cabinets and countertops to keep bugs away. Check under sink cabinets for plumbing leaks, and make sure food is stored in well-sealed containers.
- Most stovetop hoods simply filter cooking particulates without venting outside. Install an exhaust fan that vents outside to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture from the home.
- Avoid mould growth by wiping up excess moisture, and regularly clean and empty the fridge. It’s also important to clean or replace mouldy rubber seals.
Do you love your bedroom? Many allergens, like dust mites, also love the soft surfaces you come in very close contact with every day.
- Use hypoallergenic bedding with zippered, dust-proof covers to minimize dust mites. Wash sheets and blankets each week
- Use hardwood or linoleum flooring, washable area rugs, or low-pile carpeting - and vacuum weekly.
- Keep your bedroom pet-free. This will give you one less allergen to deal with.
There are a variety of surfaces in your living room that can attract allergens. It’s important to keep them all clean and uncluttered.
- Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric.
- Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
- Keep pets off of upholstered furniture. Also, have someone without allergies give your pets baths regularly.
- Use allergen-reducing sprays on surfaces in your home, or even in a hotel room when you travel.
Mould and mildew thrive in wet areas. If ignored, the bathroom can be a hotspot for indoor allergens.
- Wipe down shower curtains after each use. If mould shows, clean or replace the curtain.
- Keep the bathroom door open to circulate air when the room is not in use. You should also use a ventilation fan during baths or showers, to reduce moisture.
- Use a paint with a mould inhibitor, or add one to your standard paint.