Allergy season has arrived, and allergy sufferers don’t just have to worry about heading outside. Instead, even the indoors hold problems for those who suffer from allergies. From your office to your home, you could be dealing with allergens almost everywhere you go, but there are a number of things you can do to prevent problems so your home (and/or office environment) will be the respite you need at the end of a long day.
The Air Quality Equation
Those who suffer with allergies struggle with various allergens in the air. The more allergens in the air, the poorer the air quality. Air quality literally refers to the state of the air that surrounds us. Good air quality is clean, clear air. Poor air quality can result from all sorts of things, both natural and “human-caused.” You may hear about two different kinds of air quality – ambient air quality and indoor quality. You can do very little about the ambient air quality. That’s the quality of the outdoor air. It’s usually measured near ground level. Indoor quality is unique to your location. Your home may have different air quality than your office does.
Think the indoor air quality is naturally better? Not necessarily. The indoor air quality is affected by a number of different kinds of pollutants. Tobacco smoke, the chemicals that synthetic fabrics release, household products, and even animal dander can all contribute to the indoor air quality. Make no mistake, those who suffer with allergies will suffer just as much inside as they might out if you maintain a poor air quality in your home.
Changing the Air Quality In Your Home
Fortunately, there is something you can do about your air quality inside the house or your office. These tips can help you get there.
- Replace the Filters: The filters in your furnace and air conditioner should be replaced on a regular basis. They have to be your first line of defense. In most cases, you’ll want to replace those filters monthly so they have the power to trap any pollutants in your home and keep them from continually circulating.
- Clean Regularly: Keeping your home as clean as possible can help to eliminate those allergens too. If you vacuum, damp mop, and dust all of your belongings on a weekly basis, you’re going to keep more than 90% of the dust out of your home. Make certain, though, that you have the right vacuum. Those that have a HEPA filter can help to trap tiny particles of dust that may be playing host to dust mites that could be making you sneeze.
- Keep it Dry: If you have a basement, it’s already an allergen’s paradise. Many basements tend to be fairly damp, and that may mean musty odors or something more serious like mold and mildew. This one is fairly easy to fix, though. You can install a dehumidifier to help remove the moisture from the air. It will also help to prevent mold buildup. There are two different types to buy. You can get a single room unit or you can get one that is designed for your entire house.
- Scrub the Air: Think you can’t literally clean the air? Think again. An air purifier will literally help you clean the air in your home. As with the dehumidifier, you can get a number of different sizes with this one. You can get one as small as a tabletop or one that is ideal for your entire home. They work to circulate the air, then capture the dust. To keep it effective, though, you’ll have to change or clean the filters as often as possible.
- Don’t Even Consider Under the Bed: If you’re utilizing all of your space and storing stuff under your bed, stop it. You’ll need to clean under the bed on a regular basis, and using that storage space is going to make it far harder to clean under that space. Vacuum there too regularly.
- Dump the Carpeting: If you currently have carpeting, it may be time to redecorate your home and go with wood or tile flooring. Carpeting can hold pounds of dirt and dust, and that’s only going to make it harder to breathe.
It is possible to change your indoor air quality, but it may take a bit of work to get there. You may also want to investigate other options with your physician if you are suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms.