Handy at Home

Bid Adieu to Indoor Allergens

Remove shoes before entering your home to avoid dragging in toxins from outside.
December 2017
Posted

Stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes — having allergies can be miserable. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 60 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies, and nearly 70 percent of U.S. households are affected by indoor allergens.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants can be two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.

To help everyone breathe easier and to increase indoor air quality, consider the following smart and simple ideas:

• Be smart with bedding: To ensure you sleep well and breathe easy all night long, invest in allergen-barrier bedding and pillow covers. Wash all sheets, blankets, pillowcases and bedcovers in hot water that is at least 130 degrees to kill dust mites and remove allergens. For items that can’t be washed, place in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at a temperature above 130 degrees.

• Buy confidently and seek certification: From vacuums to cleaning products, flooring to humidifiers, look for the asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program seal of approval administered by AAFA.The program is an independent program created to scientifically test and identify products that are better for people with asthma and allergies.

• Install a whole-home air cleaner: Home air cleaners work with your existing ducts to filter out nearly all allergens so you don’t have to worry about breathing in harmful bacteria or allergy triggers.

• Use an HEPA-filtered vacuum often: No matter the type of flooring in your home, vacuum regularly with an

HEPA-filtered vacuum to remove the maximum number of allergens possible.

• Hire professional carpet cleaners: Many people with allergies choose to remove carpets and replace them with hardwood or tile flooring that doesn’t collect allergens as quickly. However, this might not always be possible, so if you have carpet in your home, hire a professional carpet cleaner regularly to deeply clean carpet to remove embedded particles and other allergy triggers lurking within.

• Choose VOC-free paints: Craving a new wall color? When buying paint, look for VOC-free options. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds and these can also trigger allergies. To ensure nobody in your family gets itchy eyes or a runny nose when they spend time in your remodeled space, shop smart and look for VOC-free paints.

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