Allergies

Posted by Admin - 11/04/2016

 

With the warmer weather on its way, allergens and our sensitivity to them will increase, so here are a few simple tips to reduce allergens in your home.

Temperature and Humidity.

Heat and humidity in the home is a great breeding ground for dust mites and mould.  The ideal indoor temperature will be between 20C and 22C.  Make sure you regularly clean and replace the small particle filters in any heating and cooling systems, including dehumidifiers and air conditioning units.

Banish Mould

Close doors and windows during warm weather and use air conditioning or dehumidifiers instead.

Remove any mouldy materials such as carpet from the property and clean washable services with a 5% chlorine bleach solution.

Ensure the property is free from leaks.

Weekly Cleaning Routine

Damp mop washable flooring and vacuum all carpeting using a vacuum with a small particle air filter.  Using a damp cloth, clean all doors tops, window sills and frames.

Wearing a mask when doing this will help if you have a dust allergy.

Smoking

Smoking in the house will increase allergens, smoke outside to reduce this.

Pests

Remove allergy triggering insect and mouse residue by vacuuming carpets, wash hard surfaces and seal any cracks in walls, windows and doors to stop them getting through.

Reducing Allergens Room by Room

Bedroom

Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers.
Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 54 C.
Remove, wash or cover comforters.
Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials.
Remove carpeting and use hardwood flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season.
Clean mould and condensation from window frames and sills.
Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, table top ornaments, books and magazines.
Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic boxes.
If you can’t find a new home for your dog or cat, at least keep animals out of the bedroom.
Bathing pets at least once a week may reduce the amount of allergen  they shed.
Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so that it directs clean air toward your head when you sleep.

Living room

Remove carpeting and use hardwood flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Wash area rugs and floor mats weekly, and shampoo wall-to-wall carpets periodically.
Consider replacing upholstered sofas and chairs with furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic.
Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mould and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
Find a new home for potted plants or spread aquarium gravel over the dirt to help contain mould.
If you can’t find a new home for your dog or cat, consider keeping it outside if weather permits.
Avoid use of wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because smoke and gases can worsen respiratory allergies. Most natural gas fireplaces won’t cause this problem.

Kitchen

Install and use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture. Most stove-top hoods simply filter cooking particulates without venting outside.
Wash dishes daily. Scrub the sink and faucets to remove mould and food debris.
Wipe up excessive moisture to avoid mould growth. Discard mouldy or out-of-date food. Regularly empty and clean dripping pan and clean or replace mouldy rubber seals around doors.
Clean cabinets and countertops with detergent and water. Check under-sink cabinets for plumbing leaks. Store food — including pet food — in sealed containers.
Place garbage in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty trash daily.
Keeping the kitchen free of food crumbs will help reduce the chance you will have rodents or cockroaches.

Bathroom

Install and use an exhaust fan to reduce moisture while taking baths or showers.
Remove carpeting and use tile, vinyl, wood or linoleum flooring. Use washable rugs.
Remove wallpaper and install tile, or paint walls with mould-resistant enamel paint.
Towel-dry the tub and enclosure after use. Scrub mould from tub, shower and faucets with bleach.
Clean or replace mouldy shower curtains and bathmats.
Scrub mould from plumbing fixtures. Repair leaks.

Basement

Remove mouldy or water-damaged carpeting. If possible, use concrete, vinyl or linoleum flooring.
Consider replacing upholstered sofas and chairs with furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic.
Check for and repair any sources of leaks or water damage.
Use a dehumidifier to reduce dampness, and clean it once a week.
Store collectibles and clothes in plastic storage bins.