It is no secret that living with allergies is challenging. Some common allergens in the home are pet dander, dust mites and pollen, and while it is not possible to get rid of them completely, they can be be minimized to alleviate the sufferings of those who are allergic to them.
Maybe keeping your home clean and dry is the most important step to take when you need to minimize allergens inside a home. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of Americarecommends aggressive cleaning as a step to keeping your home allergy free.
Dehumidifiers and air purifiers have a role to play as does temperature control. Other steps you can take are discouraging pets from sleeping on your bed. Any mold should be promptly removed, by professionals if need be.
Some common sense precautions include avoiding water stained carpets, ceilings or tiles in a home, and removing them as soon as possible to get rid of pollution sources.
In addition to these steps, the furniture and decor you select can play a big role in keeping a home allergy free.
Go for a Clutter Free Look
Avoid overstuffed furniture and prevent crowding furniture in any area. You should be able to go around the furniture and so that you can access all areas of the room. It is important to get rid of all dirt and debris on a regular basis. Frequent cleaning is essential to keep allergens to a minimum.
In a child's room make sure to have good storage where toys can be stored to keep from collecting dust.
Avoid keeping books and collectibles in a bedroom because these can collect a lot of dust. Keep nightstands free of objects so that the air around the bed is clean.
Choose Upholstered Furniture WiselyLeather and vinyl are probably the best upholstery choices for allergy sufferers. These materials can be cleaned easily, and today you can get leather in a variety of colors and looks. Buying a good quality leather sofa can be expensive, but the investment pays off in the long run.
While selecting sofas and chairs, make sure to choose a design where the base doesn't sit on the floor, but is raised on legs. That prevents dust and mold from accumulating underneath.
If you must have fabric upholstery be prepared to clean more often than with leather. Vacuum thoroughly to keep it dust-free. Also remember, organic fabric is not necessarily hypoallergenic. Some materials such as organic wool can still cause allergies. The idea is to get as tight a weave as possible so that particles don't travel through it.
Bare Floors Are the Best
It is best to have bare floors as they can be cleaned easily and thoroughly. Carpets and rugs on the other hand can be the greatest repositories of dust. Dense or high piles on rugs and carpets are the worst. Dust settles into the fibers making it impossible to get rid of it completely. If it is not possible to remove the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter frequently.
Throw rugs and dhurries are better than carpets, especially those with a low pile, or those that are washable. Also, make sure any rugs or underlays are low VOC products.
Avoid Heavy Curtains and DrapesBlinds could quite possibly be the best window treatment for an allergy free environment inside the home, but avoid accordion pleated ones. Metal venetian blinds are better than wood, as wood can also harbor mites.
If you must have curtains, use light cotton ones. These have the advantage of being easily washed to get rid of any dust that may settle on them.
Completely avoid heavy drapes, or ones that pool on the floor.
Protect Your BedBeds need special attention because pillows and mattresses are also a breeding ground for dust mites. Besides the obvious, which is laundering bedsheets and pillowcases at least once a week, it also helps to encase pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof covers. These covers are available in fabric and also as airtight, zippered plastic coverings that prevent a person from coming in direct contact with them.
You can also find mattresses and pillows that are made from hypoallergenic material. It makes sense to find out what is in your mattress and make sure that you are not allergic to it. Many mattresses do contain latex, and that could be a source of allergies for some. If you are not allergic to latex, then it might be a viable choice as it doesn't encourage dust mites.