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Allergy-Proofing Your Home

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Allergies are a nightmare. Your face is itchy, your nose feels like it is going to be plugged forever, your garbage can is full of used tissues, and you feel like if you sneeze again, you might just rupture something. With spring in full swing and pollen flying in every direction, it is now allergy season. We’re feeling it at the Off-Campus Housing 101 office. But beyond taking copious amounts of allergy medication, what can you do?

A lot, as it turns out. Your house can be your sanctuary away from allergens if you’re just willing to work for it. Dust, pollen, mold, and pet dander are your foes, and you can eradicate them. You just need to know where to start!

It’s probably best to start with the bedroom. Sleep is one of the most important parts of our lives. It gets us ready to face the day. Moreover, we spend so much time in our bedrooms! One of the best things you can buy for your bed is an allergen proof mattress cover much like this one. You can purchase these for your pillows as well.

Closing your windows is another excellent way to keep pollen out. I know there’s a beautiful spring breeze coming through and you want to enjoy that, but it’s also bringing in a lot of pollen and other allergens that will settle on your furniture and bedding causing you to have a restless sleep. Dusting and vacuuming can make a huge difference as well. And be sure to reduce the amount of clutter in your room that can collect dust that isn’t as easy to remove.

You also might love sleeping while cuddled up to your dog or cat, but they aren’t helping your allergies. Keeping Fluffy and Mittens out of your bedroom and definitely off of the bed will help clear up your allergies.

Replace your air filters on time! This is so important. And when choosing an air filter, look for a HEPA filter or one that works on small particles.

Plants are great to have in your home, they help clean your air, but they can also be a source of mold that can grow in the wet soil. While we don’t want you to get rid of all of your houseplants, thinking about where they are placed in your home is important. Removing them from your bedroom is your first step, but also think about placing them away from where you normally spend time in your home like the couch in the living room or the dining table.

Wash your curtains and blinds. If you have vertical blinds you can cut two slits into the thin edge of two sponges and put them on the ends of a pair of tongs. Dip them in a cleaning solution and wipe down your blinds to remove allergens and dust.

Get rid of that shag carpeting! High-pile carpets are a magnet for dust, pollen, and animal dander. If you can, replace them with hard-wood, linoleum or even a low-pile carpet.

Reduce humidity in your home. By installing proper ventilation systems in your bathroom and kitchen you can reduce the moisture that allows mold to thrive in the corners and recesses of your house. Dehumidifiers can help with this process as well. Insect droppings can also carry allergens; by reducing the moisture in your home, sealing food in containers, and washing your dishes as soon as you can, these bugs will be less likely to want to live in your house.

These are just a few of the things you can do to allergy-proof your house. For more information, check out the links below.

Mayo Clinic: Allergy-Proof Your Home

This Old House: 13 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

WebMD: Allergy- and Asthma-Proof Your Home

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