The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and allergy season has officially arrived. Make sure your home is a safe haven from dust, pollen, and dander with these six tips for allergy-proofing your home this spring all while saving energy in the process.
Block pollen with door and window screens
As the weather warms up, homeowners jump at the chance to let sunshine and fresh air in—but blooming flowers means more airborne pollen and an open window is an invitation for allergens to enter your home. Only open windows and doors fitted with screens to not only heat and cool your home naturally, but also help create a barrier against pollen.
Get to know your houseplants
Did you know that certain houseplants have been proven to help improve air quality and even your mood? It's true! But learning more about the types of plants in your home is important to reducing allergens. Do your research to find out if any of your houseplants are guilty of producing pollen, eye irritation or worsening asthma symptoms. Orchids, weeping figs and bonsai trees are a few to watch out for.
Overwatering can also cause mold. Keep your plants moist and hydrated without over-soaking the soil and always let the soil dry before watering again. You might also want to consider doing regular checks for mold on planters, leaves and the trunks of small trees.
Clean your air ducts and filters
There's a reason it's called "spring cleaning." The changing seasons brings the reminder to do regular maintenance and clean those often-overlooked areas around your home, like your airducts. A buildup of dust and debris inside air ducts and furnace or cooling unit filters makes it more difficult to efficiently heat and cool your home. It can also increase circulation of airborne allergens, including pet dander, pollen and mold spores.
Start by swapping out old furnace and cooling unit filters every three months and vacuuming around air vent covers. For a more thorough airduct cleaning, it's best to leave it to the professionals.
Amp up your vacuuming
One of the easiest ways to help allergy-proof your home is to vacuum at least once or twice a week with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® vacuum. Older or poorer quality vacuums can just disrupt dander, dust and allergens instead of sucking them up. Don't forget to tackle upholstered furniture, inside closets and even behind your refrigerator!
Use a smart thermostat
Spring weather can be unpredictable, but constantly adjusting your thermostat can produce condensation and create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to build up in your home. Smart thermostats let you set a schedule to keep the temperature from fluctuating too much and as a bonus, help reduce your energy consumption. Over time, they can also learn your temperature preferences depending on the time of day and will adjust accordingly for your comfort.
If you're finding certain rooms in your home are more humid than others, give a portable dehumidifier a try to help dry out the space and check for possible plumbing leaks.
Keep clothes and bedding clean
Dust mites enjoy warmer weather almost as much as we do. That's why it's always a good idea to wash your bedding regularly with hot water to help kill any mites that may have settled in. The same can be said for pet dander from inviting furry friends to snuggle in bed.
Spending time in your backyard or going out for a walk can lead to pollen or particles of snow mold coming into contact with your clothing. Getting in the habit of changing clothes when you come inside, or even showering if your allergies are severe, can help keep allergens at bay. Make sure to leave shoes at the door!
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