Five Ways To Minimize Indoor Allergens

Indoor allergens, such as dust, mold, and animal dander can make life unpleasant for people allergic to them. Nobody wants to be constantly sniffling, blowing their nose and sneezing. Taking a few simple steps can help minimize the amount of these allergens you're exposed to.

Choose the Right Flooring and Keep It Clean

It's hard to get carpets fully clean and get rid of all the allergens that collect in them, so it's better to use a type of flooring with a hard surface, such as tile, linoleum, vinyl or hardwood. Keep these surfaces clean by regularly vacuuming, sweeping and mopping them to get rid of any allergens on them and having people remove their shoes as they enter the house. If possible, the person with the allergies shouldn't be the one to clean, as this stirs up the allergens temporarily.

Limit Humidity

Mold requires high levels of humidity to grow, so aim to keep the humidity in your home at 50 percent or below. Using a dehumidifier in humid or damp parts of the home, such as the basement, can help with this. Use a fan to help limit steamy bathrooms, and wipe up any standing water from spills. Don't keep a lot of houseplants, and fix any leaks as soon as possible.

Use Covers and Wash Bedding Regularly

You can buy allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers to limit exposure to allergens while you're sleeping. Wash other bedding with hot water and use high heat to dry it at least once a week to get rid of any allergens that are present.

Regularly Change Filters and Maintain HVAC Equipment

Filters in air vents need to be changed regularly so dust and other allergens don't build up in them. The same is true of the filters in any air purifiers you may use. In some cases, you may also need air duct cleaning. Large amounts of dust can accumulate in the ducts and be released from vents or mold can grown in these ducts if the home is too humid. Hiring professionals for duct cleaning can take care of this problem.

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

Although fresh air is nice and can sometimes be less polluted than indoor air, it's better to use an air conditioner when the weather is warm to help keep the humidity in the home where it should be and limit dust mites in the home. Air conditioners have filters to limit new allergens coming into the house, which open windows can't do. Keeping the windows closed will also help limit any outdoor allergens that could otherwise come into the home.