Fighting allergies isn’t all about allergy shots and antihistamines. Following these four simple rules for home maintenance can make a big difference in allergies for your family.
Leave windows closed at night.
Who doesn’t love sleeping in a gentle breeze with the windows open on a warm summer night? You shouldn’t, if you have allergies to grass pollen. Sleeping with the windows open at night can leave you sneezing and wheezing the next morning with pollen allergies. Many grasses pollinate at about four in the morning. They release their pollen when nighttime winds are most refreshing. If you aren’t using air conditioning to filter your bedroom air, you run the risk of seriously aggravating grass pollen allergies.
Never let dust accumulate inside your home.
Dust isn’t a major contributor to allergies, but dust mites are. Dust mites are tiny, speck-like eight-legged creatures that trigger asthma, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and a form of acne called rosacea. More than 95 percent of the allergy-provoking material from dust mites is fecal matter. When you inhale dust, you also inhale dust mite poop. It’s the waste material that causes the allergy (and in some cases, acne). Anything that reduces dust, like an air filter, reduces indoor allergies.
Keep your bedroom especially clean.
Mattresses are a bigger contributor to upper respiratory allergies, asthma, and sinus problems than settled dust. Over time, mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, and pillowcases can accumulate dog and cat danger as well as dust mites. If anyone in your home has allergies, these housekeeping chores are essential:
- Launder sheets and pillowcases in hot water. Change them at least weekly.
- Use mattress and pillow encasements to keep dust mites from hiding within.
- Allow children to sleep with at most one stuff animal. Keep other plush toys off the bed.
- Use feather pillows instead of fiber pillows. Feather pillows are covered with fabric with a tight weave to keep the feathers inside the pillow. This makes it harder for dust mites and pollen to get inside the pillow.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that any new mattress you buy was not a store demonstrator model. Demo mattresses can pick up dust mites from every customer who tries them out.
Keep up with heating and AC maintenance!
Filters that don’t get changed harbor dust mites. Forced-air heating can send dust all over your house. If you set your AC so low that there is condensation on your windows, you will grow molds that can cause allergies. And neglecting humidity in the summer can nurture an allergenic stew of messy microbes that can cause allergies in your family year after year.
Professional HVAC maintenance can go a long way toward preventing allergies in your home. Call Reed Electric Heating & Air in Paducah, KY 42002 at 270-441-2094 from Kentucky or 618-524-7545 from Illinois for all your heating and AC needs. We’ve been keeping western Kentucky and southern Illinois comfortable since 2004.