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Winter Allergy Sufferer? Cleaner Air at Home Might Help

Do you suffer from winter allergies? Here are some tips to help improve the quality of air at home to help.
Adult sitting crossed-legged smiling next to child sitting crossed-legged
Photo courtesy of newscanada.com

Many people are familiar with the sneezing, itchy throat and watery eyes that accompany pollen season in the spring and fall, but for some, allergy symptoms persist year-round. For those perennial allergy sufferers, improving the quality of air at home might help.

Here are some easy steps to cleaner, fresher air at home:

Prevent mould from growing

Mould spores in the air can cause an allergic reaction or increase allergy symptoms. Mould grows in moist environments, like bathrooms. To prevent its growth, check occasionally for leaks around your tub or shower. Ensure you have a working bathroom exhaust fan or open a window when you take a shower. Keep shower doors and curtains open after use to allow them to dry and prevent a build-up of moisture. When cleaning mouldy surfaces, wear a mask to prevent breathing in the airborne spores and run an air purifier at the same time.

Watch out for VOCs

Many home cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are chemicals that can affect air quality. There can also be VOCs in your home due to off-gassing from pressed wood cabinets, panelling and flooring. To reduce exposure to VOCs, store the minimum amount of cleaning products in your living area. When using cleaning products containing VOCs, open a window or turn on a fan. An air purifier can also help increase ventilation without opening windows. The same advice applies if you are installing new carpets or flooring or painting a room.

Use an air purifier

Even though vacuuming is a valuable way to reduce allergens at home, many allergens are microscopic – so small that they remain airborne. The size of pet dander, for example, is five microns. And one micron is just 1/25,000 of an inch. This is where good-quality air purifiers can be especially helpful. True HEPA allergen-remover purifiers, like Honeywell’s options, capture up to 99.97 per cent of microscopic particles that pass through their filters, keeping your air at home fresher and cleaner.

Person on couch reading a book while petting a white dog
Photo courtesy of newscanada.com

Reduce pet allergens

Dog and cat fur and dander in the air will affect your indoor air quality. Pets coming into the house can also track in outdoor allergens. To reduce these allergens in your home, vacuum area rugs and carpets regularly and consider having your fur babies sleep in a different room from you. Consider a high-quality air purifier in every room where pets spend much of their time.

Consider hard surface flooring

Carpets and area rugs can hold and store allergens such as dust, pet dander, pollen and mould. These can become airborne when you, or your pets, walk on them. Hard surface flooring is a good choice for reducing the allergens in your home. Wash and vacuum your floors on a regular basis.

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