Reduce Allergens in your Home in Western New York
You may not realize it, but there are some common allergens that live in your home.
Allergies can really put a damper on even the sunniest of days in Western New York. Many people with allergies stay indoors when pollen, mold, and other allergens are high; however, allergens can also live inside your home. You can take steps to reduce allergens in your home.
Common Home Allergens
You may not realize it, but there are some common allergens that live in your home and can lead to allergies and/or asthma. Before you can reduce the allergens in your home, you need to understand what those allergens are.
Dust Mites: Eight out of 10 people in the United States are exposed to dust mites (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that generate some of the most common indoor allergens and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in lots people. Dust mites occur naturally and can appear in almost all homes. Humidity is the most important factor in determining whether your house has high concentrations of dust mites.
Pet Dander: Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers. Six out of 10 homes are subject to cat or dog dander. Animal allergens are carried on small particles that remain airborne and easily attach to surfaces and clothing. Air filters can be helpful in reducing exposure to airborne pet allergens.
Mold: Mold and mildew are fungi that reproduce and grow “seeds,” called spores that travel through the air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather while others spread when humidity is high. Indoor mold tends to grow in damp, dark environments, such as basements or showers and bathtubs, says Robert Fisher, the medical director at Allergy Research & Care.
Cockroach Allergens: Cockroach allergen particles have properties like those of dust mite allergens. Cockroaches are an issue mostly in cities and the southern United States, and are believed to play a large role in asthma in inner-city populations, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pollen: Pollen is the male fertilizing agent of flowering plants, trees, grasses and weeds. It is also a major allergen. Many people don’t think of pollen as a common home allergen, as they don’t think of it as being indoors. Pollen can be brought into your home on clothing, shoes, pets, furniture, etc. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can clean the air and keep about 80% of pollen out of the home.
Tips to Reduce Allergens in your Home
Frequently Dust Surfaces: You can eliminate, or minimalize dust, mold, and pollen particles in your Western New York home by dusting on a regular basis. When dusting, clean from top to bottom to avoid spreading dust on areas you just cleaned, don’t brush the dust away with a feather duster or cloth, use a damp microfiber cloth to trap the dust. Make sure you dust all areas of your home including ceiling fans, blinds, and lighting fixtures.
Vacuum Multiple Times a Week: Vacuuming can help to reduce allergens in your home. As with dusting, make sure that you are doing it frequently and getting all areas of your home, including corners and under furniture. Look for CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® vacuums, as these vacuums are proven to prevent allergens from entering back into the air as you use them.
Keep Pollen Out: Prevent pollen from entering your home, by keeping your windows and doors closed as much as possible. Also, take off shoes outdoors or have a mat by your door that is used for people to wipe their feet as they enter your home.
Avoid Mold: Reduce moisture around your home to prevent mold from developing and putting mold spores in the air. You can use dehumidifiers to dry the hair, limit house plants, fix leaks and damp areas in your home, use exhaust vents when showering, etc.
Control Pet Dander: If you have a pet dander allergy, doctors recommend not having a pet that has feathers or fur. Other things you can do to prevent the spread of pet dander is to close doors into rooms with a lot of furniture, especially bedrooms, cover vents with cheesecloth, replace carpet with bare floors, and bath your pet frequently.
Change your Air Filters Regularly: When you change your air filter regularly, it helps remove harmful particles from the air such as pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, bacteria, micro allergens and more. By not changing your air filter regularly, at least once a month, your indoor air quality can suffer. Breathing in this air can have a detrimental impact on your health by causing allergies and making asthma and other respiratory problems much worse. The most important thing you can do to reduce allergens in your home is change your air filter regularly.
Reducing and keeping allergens out of your Western New York home may be the difference between you and your family breathing easily or not.
Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC specializes in a range of Indoor Air Quality services, including installing air scrubbers and purifiers that are proven to clean the air in your home. With our help, you can reduce allergens and your home.
Ready to learn more or to get started on the path to better, easier-to-breathe air? Contact us today.