Spring was over months ago, so why am I still sneezing? Seasonal allergies are a pain, but at least there is an end in sight. Indoor allergies are a completely different thing and can go on all year long. One of the biggest causes of indoor allergies is pet dander. Whether you just don’t want to give up your favorite furry friend, or you want to make your house more accessible to friends who have pet allergies, there are easy ways to reduce the amount of indoor allergens in your home. The two most common ones are dust and dander, other common triggers are cleaning supplies, transfer of pollen from outdoors, and irritants found in things like paint, adhesives and other household goods. First step, switch to eco-friendly cleaning solutions and opt for low- to no-VOC paints. Now let’s get control of these household allergens!
Start with your HVAC – replace old filters with HEPA filters and keep them maintained. If you’re looking at a home remodel, consider a ductless heat pump system to further reduce allergens.
Get clean air – a good air purifier is not a small expense, but the benefits are more than worth it. They work by drawing in air and trapping allergens. If you don’t want to put them in the entire house, then opt for the most commonly used rooms like bedrooms and living rooms. While you’re at it, add some of nature’s purifiers as well – plants!
Get clean floors – invest in a HEPA vacuum that doesn’t just suck up dust and dander only to spew part of it right back out. A HEPA vacuum features a specially designed filter to trap allergens. Make sure to get one with attachments so you can chase down those pet-hair dust bunnies that live under the couch.
Keep it clean – the best way to reduce the major causes of indoor allergens is to keep things clean. Dust and vacuum regularly with reusable cloths dampened with a natural cleaner so you’re not just pushing dust around, or adding to the air pollution with chemical cleaners.
Give Fido a bath – some people are allergic to the animal hair and dead skin cells (dander) while others are allergic to a cat’s saliva. Keep your pet clean with regular brushing and baths (even a wet wash cloth used to “pet” your cat can help). Be sure to use pet-friendly products.
Keep it dry – low humidity helps reduce the chance of mold or mildew in your home.
Use hard surfaces – hardwood, tile and other hard floor surfaces are easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpet. Make sure to give your area rugs regular attention; take them outside for a good shake, vacuum them thoroughly, or get them cleaned if needed.