You know it’s happening when the weather gets warmer, trees are blooming, and you start sneezing, itching, and sniffling: allergy season. It can start in the beginning of spring and last well into summer, causing millions of people to suffer and hide inside for relief. But what happens when you’re at home, out of the grass and far away from flowers, and you’re still sneezing or wheezing? Indoor allergies are a problem for many people year-round and can trigger symptoms in spring and summer, especially.
Five ways to manage indoor allergies this season:
1. Turn on the air conditioner
When the weather warms up enough, chances are you’ll turn on the air to cool down. But during spring, people often choose to open their windows instead, which is like an invitation for pollen and other particles to come inside and make themselves at home. Running the air conditioner will help to neutralize indoor allergens through dehumidification while keeping pollen out.
2. Leave allergens at the door
If you spend time outside (probably with the help of allergy medicine), then you risk bringing particles into your home. That includes on your shoes, clothes, hair and skin. It’s best to leave your shoes at the door, change clothes, wash the clothes you were wearing, and shower before bed. Instead, you’re possibly dragging pollen particles into your house and your sheets where they’ll linger and continue to trigger symptoms.
3. Control humidity and moisture
Many allergens, including dust mites and mold spores, thrive in humid or moist environments. Using a dehumidifier in the basement, in particular, can help to eliminate moisture from the air where it most often exists. It’s also important to address water issues and leaks right away and to keep water from seeping into your home from the foundation or other source.
4. Clean more often
Cleaning your home on a regular basis can help to reduce dust mites and other particles that collect on surfaces, carpeting, bedding, and anywhere in between. You should vacuum at least once a week, wash your bedding in hot water every one to two weeks, and clean surfaces throughout your home just as often.
5. Use an air cleaner
Designated air cleaners, such as HEPA filters and whole-house air cleaners, help to capture allergenic particles from your air. HEPA means High Efficiency Particulate Air, a type of filter commonly used in hospitals for pollution and particle control. Whole-house air cleaners work with forced-air systems to capture small particles that are the most frequently inhaled. An air cleaner used in conjunction with the above practices can greatly reduce indoor allergies and related symptoms this spring and summer.