If you have hay fever or allergic asthma, take a few steps to reduce allergens in your home. Some steps to reduce indoor allergens are complicated and time-consuming — but there are some easy things you can do that may help. Some steps may be more effective than others, depending on what particular allergy or allergies you have.
1. Bed and bedding. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Choose bedding made of synthetic materials.
2. Flooring. Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
3. Curtains and blinds. Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
4. Windows. Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mold and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
5. Furnishings. Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
6. Clutter. Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
7. Pets. If you can’t find a new home for your dog or cat, at least keep animals out of the bedroom. Bathing pets at least twice a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.
8. Air filtration. Choose an air filter that has a small particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so that it directs clean air toward your head when you sleep.
1. Flooring. Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or