Allergy Proof Your Home This Summer
Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies doesn’t need to be told that this year is particularly bad. The sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes is driving the most level-headed people to consider selling their home and living in a bubble. You can check with The Home Guyz Team... But the Ottawa Real Estate Industry currently have zero bubbles for sale; but what they can provide is some alternative tips to eliminating pollen in your home.
Pollen is a super fine powder that is produced by trees, plants and grass during their reproductive cycle. So, while the plants are getting busy we’re left inhaling this powder which gets into our homes and settles on surfaces which in some people, triggers their immune system to react causing allergy symptoms. The Spring months usually bring tree pollen and in the height of summer, the grass pollens begin. In August and September and early Fall those who suffer from Ragweed allergies get their time. Often people can be allergic to more than one type and suffer with the pollen coming achoo … er, at you all summer long.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep the allergen particles out of your home so allergy sufferers can have a little relief this summer. Close the Doors and Windows. While closing your doors and windows isn’t the best way to enjoy that summer breeze, it is a good way to eliminate the pollen that makes its way into your home. If you’re waking up stuffed-up it’s time to close those windows at night. Limit the amount of time you keep the door open - it sounds simple and it is.
Get houseplants that purify the air. Many plants have the ability to purify the air by collecting pollen in their leaves and cleansing the air in your home. But be careful when selecting which ones; they must be plants that don’t cause allergies and they must be cared for properly. Make sure you wipe down the leaves that have collected dust and don’t allow the soil to sit damp as it will aggravate your allergies further. A few of the top suggested plants for purifying the air are Dracaena, Spider Plants (they’re easy to look after, a very self-sufficient plant) and a weeping fig (a little needier, but lovable just the same)
Replace furnace filters.
Change your filter on a regular basis. The allergens in the air travel through the vents and can pass pollen throughout the house causing your allergies to get worse. This should be done every three months, however, for allergy sufferers you should change you filter more frequently, every 20- 40 days. Often you may be tempted to not change it if it doesn’t look dirty. But don’t be fooled, it needs changing. Some thermostats, such as ecobee, will allow you to set a reminder to change your filter. Make sure to check the sizes, and always check the instructions to ensure you aren’t installing your filter backwards.
Pro Tip: Costco often sells bulk filters, so you can buy all your filters for the year in one trip.
Use HEPA filters.
Make sure you vacuum on a regular basis; and most importantly make sure you’re vacuum has a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are “high-efficiency particular air filter” This type of filter traps particles (ie pollen) and doesn’t allow the fine particles to escape and trigger your allergy symptoms. Sometimes a vacuum will claim that it has a HEPA filter, but not all the air will travel through the filter itself, so make sure you check for the sealed HEPA filter.
Wash your curtains.
If you have curtains, they need to be washed often. Pollen can settle into any type of fabric, so either eliminate the curtains in the summer months; or be prepared to throw them in the wash bi-weekly.
Don’t forget the throw pillows.
Washing your bedding weekly is common place, we often forget about the throw and decorative pillows. While they may not appear to be dirty, they’re likely hanging onto particles that are making your allergies worse. If you can, pack away the additional pillows and decorative blankets for the summer months to eliminate the problem altogether.
Wash your dog.
Pollen particles can stick to dogs and they can drag it throughout the house unknowingly causing your seasonal allergy symptoms to worsen. Make sure to wipe down your furry friend when they’ve been playing outside. Don’t let your dog sleep or sit on the bed or couch, as they’ll leave particles behind making your allergies worse. Pro Tip: Wiping down your dog is a good habit to get into because it will also alert you to any ticks they may have picked up while outside.
We know these tips can’t eliminate your allergies, but they’ll certainly help while inside your home. We hope you’ll breathe easy this summer!