The warmer climes of spring may be a welcome relief from harsh Canadian winters; unfortunately, spring brings its own challenges, specifically for those with pollen allergies. Contending with an allergic reaction while venturing outdoors is hard enough without having to do so in the security of your own home. The home should offer some respite from outdoor pollutants. However, pollen and other allergens can (and do) find their way indoors through various means including windows, dryer ducts, and the shoes you take inside.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to keep pollen from pestering you in your own home this spring and causing hay fever. Take note of the following tips:
Declutter your home
The more objects you have in your home, the more places there are for pollen and other allergens to accumulate. Removing the clutter from your home reduces the number of sites where pollen can settle and hide. There are several creative ways to declutter your home. Look into them, find out which method works best for you. Following any (or all) of these methods do not require you to switch to a minimalist lifestyle. It can, however, offer you one other advantage in addition to less pollen — a more organized and more spacious living space.
Clean your air ducts
Air ducts provide various pollutants, including pollen, a hidey-hole to sneak into and reside. Cleaning air ducts have several health benefits including evicting allergens and preventing them from attracting more. Maintaining your ducts allows you to locate and repair leaks (if any) and ensures that your home is well-ventilated. It also keeps humidity levels even throughout your home, which prevents dry air from tossing allergens around.
Remove carpets or rugs
Carpets and rugs attract all manner of allergens including pollen. Even with a vacuum cleaner, it can be quite challenging to remove these from a carpet or rug since they tend to stick to the fibres. If you haven’t already, it may be wiser not to install carpets in the first place. If you do have them, consider removing them altogether. Look into replacing them with hardwood floors, tile, or linoleum, as these do not offer pollen additional places to hide and are much easier to clean and maintain.
Switch out curtains and blinds
Curtains and blinds are as efficient at trapping allergens as carpets and rugs. Wash your curtains regularly to minimize how much pollen there is in your home. Consider replacing them with washable curtains made of lightweight material like synthetic fabric or cotton. If you have horizontal blinds, you may need to replace these as well since they are difficult to clean. Washable shades are a good alternative.
Vacuum your house regularly during pollen season to evict any stray intruders. Choose a vacuum with a powerful suction and a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter which will allow you to capture particles as tiny as .3 microns. This includes pollen (10 to 1000 microns), mould spores (10 to 30 microns), and large dust particles (2.5 to 10 microns). If possible, select one with a sealed air system, so allergens are not recirculated into the air through the exhaust. For people with allergies, a bagged vacuum is the better choice. However, with the necessary precautions, allergy sufferers can make do with bagless ones so long as they take it outside before dumping the contents into a bag.
Keep pollen out
Here are a few ways you can prevent pollen from getting inside your home:
- Leave shoes at the door – The best way to keep from tracking pollen and other allergens into your house is to leave your shoes outside. If this is not an option, leave them near the entrance, so you aren’t carrying pollen into your living space. Have a pair of inside shoes or slippers waiting for you at the entryway.
- Wipe your shoes on the doormat – If it’s impractical for you to remove your footwear every time that you enter your home, then wiping your feet off before entering can be an effective alternative strategy. Have the mat outside your home to keep pollen from getting inside.
- Seal your home – Consider home air sealing. It is not only an effective way to keep the heat in, maximizing your home’s energy efficiency, but it is also handy at keeping allergens out.
Additionally, with or without air sealing, you need to keep your windows closed so pollen does not blow in freely. Do this in the mornings when pollen counts are at their peak.
Wash your hair
Whether you went out to take a short walk or just arrived from work, make sure to wash your hair when you get home. Your hair is a magnet for pollen. Washing it removes contaminants and keeps your home, sheets, and pillows pollen-free. Alternatively, you can wear a hat or a turban to cover your hair if you want to skip the hair washing.
Change and wash your clothes
Pollen can also stick to your clothes when you go out. The moment you get home, immediately change all your clothes and place them into the washing machine or your laundry hamper. Avoid sitting down on the couch or lying on your bed so that you don’t contaminate your living area.
Groom your pets
Pollen is a notorious hitchhiker and will attach itself to any animal it makes contact with — including your pets. If your indoor pets have been outside, groom them, so they don’t bring the pollen into your home. Brush their fur and wipe their paws near the entrance or before letting them in. If you groom them inside, follow it up by washing the brush and vacuuming the area. Bathe them regularly.
Eliminating pollen and other allergens from your home may be a challenging task, but it is also rewarding. By making your home pollen-free, you protect yourself against hay fever and enhance the indoor air quality for the rest of your family.
When it comes to improving air quality, you can seek the assistance of professional duct cleaners. They can help you remove all types of allergens from your ventilation systems. Dr. Duct is the expert in air duct cleaning. We are committed to helping homes maintain clean, breathable air free of dust, pollen, dander, and other contaminants. Give us a call at (613) 845-0707 for a free estimate.