It can be difficult for people with allergies to avoid exposure to certain allergens when they’re outside. But there are many effective steps you can take to make your home as allergy-proof as possible. Here are some basic EHE Health recommendations for how to allergy-proof your house.
Keep things dry. A humid environment breeds mold and dust mites. Keep the temperature below 72 degrees and the relative humidity below 50 percent. Keep your doors and windows closed during hot weather, and use dehumidifiers in the basement and other rooms inclined toward dampness.
Create a safe sleeping area. Wash your sheets and pillowcases every week in water that’s at least 130 degrees to eliminate most pollen and dust mites. Dry your linen with high heat rather than a clothesline, which can leave your clothes exposed to allergens. If possible, keep your pets out of the bedroom.
Bathroom advice. Wash your shower curtains often; even better, purchase anti-mold curtains. When you’re showering, make sure to ventilate the room as much as you can — an exhaust fan is best, but crack open the door at the very least. Afterward, dry off surfaces.
HEPA helps. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters trap many of the most common allergens (like pollen), which can prevent exposure to triggering substances. If your air conditioning does not come with HEPA, get a portable air purifier with HEPA for the room or rooms where you spend a lot of time
Prioritize weekly cleaning. Dust surfaces with a microfiber cloth. Clean out your fridge and monitor it for excessive moisture. If you have upholstered furniture, use a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Take out the trash daily. Scrub your sinks, countertops, and interior refrigerator surfaces to prevent mold.
Safe storage. Make sure your food is stored in well-sealed containers that will be less vulnerable to unwanted pests.
Clean green. As you clean your home, try to avoid synthetic household cleaners with chemicals that could themselves trigger a respiratory or skin reaction. Opt for non-toxic, natural products.
Vigilance with visitors. Use doormats so people are less likely to bring allergens in with them. For even more safety, ask friends and family to remove their shoes when they enter your home.
Window wisdom. Heavy, pleated drapes can trap tons of dust and other allergens. If possible, switch them out for machine-washable curtains or blinds you can wipe down.