Ways to Prevent Indoor Allergens
One way to improve the indoor air quality and to prevent allergens from becoming a problem is to be intentional about carrying any in with you. If you are serious about lessening allergens then consider these tips:
- Monitor when pollen counts are expected to be hight and limit being outdoors during these times. It’s typically reported that the mid-morning and mid-afternoon have the highest pollen count.
- Remove your shoes before you come indoors or wipe them on the doormat multiple times to remove as many allergens as possible.
- After coming home from outside immediately showering and change clothes. This will help to contain any allergens on your clothing and remove them from your hair and body.
Seal It Up
One of the best ways to prevent allergens from entering your home or building is to make sure it is properly sealed. Use a sealant like Lifetime® Ultra 230 Premium Elastomeric Acrylic Latex Sealant to seal up any gaps or cracks around the windows, doors, and any exterior walls to prevent outside air from entering your home or building. Also when the pollen count is high be sure to keep your windows and doors closed and use the air conditioner to keep your interior cool.
Check Your Products
Another great tip is to use products that do not harm your indoor air quality during the building and repair of your home. If you are planning an indoor home maintenance project like painting, repairing drywall or using a sealant, be sure to use a product that has “low-VOC” or is “indoor air quality certified.” Examples of these types of products are Red Devil’s Onetime® Lightweight Spackling and Kitchen & Bath Low-Odor Silicone Sealant.
Ways to Remove Indoor Allergens
It’s impossible to prevent all allergens from coming indoors. Help to improve your indoor air quality by trying the below tips.
- Dust your indoor surfaces regularly.
- Limit or eliminate the rugs and soft materials you have on your floor. These can trap allergens.
- Regularly wash common fabrics like linens, bedding, window coverings, etc. in hot water to remove allergens.
- Limit or eliminate using ceiling fans. The air circulation they create can disturb allergen particles that are resting on indoor surfaces.
Reducing the amount of indoor moisture can help to combat issues with airborne allergens, mold, mildew, dust mites and other contaminants. To keep your indoor air within the recommended humidity level, between 40 and 50 percent, consider the below tips.
- Utilize a dehumidifier- These devices help to maintain a balanced indoor environment by removing excess moisture from the air and helping to prevent issues such as the development of mold and mildew.
- Check for proper ventilation- Double-checking the ventilation in your bathrooms and kitchens can help to greatly reduce your indoor humidity. Also, make sure that the exhaust vents are unobstructed and in good working condition so that any excess moisture and pollutants have a pathway to exit.
Upgrade Your Cleaning Supplies
For those who want to remove allergens from surfaces during the cleaning process, consider using vapor steam cleaners and a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Vapor steam cleaners can not only help prevent the spreading of contaminants that can happen when cleaning with a traditional cloth or sponge but can also better disinfect and eliminate bacteria.
To upgrade the allergens contained while vacuuming use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These are reported to remove up to 99.7% of allergens in a given space. These effective cleaning devices can reduce the allergens present in your carpet, rugs and other soft surfaces.
Another solution many have recommended for improving indoor air quality is utilizing plants. They can be used to naturally remove toxins from the air. Numerous clean air studies recommend placing greenery every 100 square feet within any given space to improve the air purification.
The most popular air-filtering plants include:
- Aloe plants (aloe vera)
- Spider plants (chlorophytum comosum)
- Gerber daisies (gerbera jamesonii)
- Chrysanthemums (chrysantheium morifolium)
- Ficus, weeping fig (ficus benjamina)
- Azaleas (rhododendron simsii)
- English ivy (hedera helix)
Give Your HVAC System Some Love
As air circulates indoors airborne allergens can enter and settle inside the ducts of your HVAC system. When the system is turned on, those allergens and contaminants enter your living space and are breathed in by those who are indoors. To alleviate this and improve your indoor air quality it is recommended to have a technician clean your air ducts every 5 years.
Check Your Filters
It is no secret that the type of filters used and the frequency that they are replaced can greatly impact your indoor air quality. As a rule of thumb, it is important to monitor the last time you changed the filters in your building and to strive to replace them every 30-90 days. Also if reducing allergens is your goal, it may be beneficial to invest in a higher-quality filter rated for allergen filtration. Standard filters are designed to trap larger particles, like dust so that they don’t harm your HVAC unit, but HEPA filters are created to prevent smaller particles and keep allergens from recirculating back into the living space.
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