Many of the substances commonly responsible for causing allergies are found in our homes. These include dust and dust mites, pet dander and mould. While cleaning is unfortunately unavoidable for most of us to reduce the presence of allergens, there are ways we can minimise allergic reactions while at home. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you.
1. Remove and replace carpets and rugs
Carpets are a great place for allergens such as dust, dust mites, mould and pet dander to collect or grow. Where possible, remove carpeting and rugs from your home and replace them with wooden floorboards, linoleum or tiles. These materials are a lot easier to keep clean and will reduce the levels of these allergens in the areas where you live and sleep.
2. Remove mould
Mould commonly grows in areas where the moisture levels in the air are high, such as in laundries and bathrooms. If you can see or smell mould, you should remove it immediately and identify the source of the moisture causing it. One of the easiest ways to reduce mould growth is to increase airflow through the area by opening a window or door.
3. Wear a mask
Chores such as vacuuming will disturb dust mites and allergenic mite material, causing them to remain in the air for around 20 minutes. If you can, ask someone else to do the vacuuming and dusting, or wear a mask. This also applies to garden work such as raking, mowing and working with compost, which may disturb mould spores.
4. Invest in the right tools
High levels of dust and pollen in the air can trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to them. While vacuuming regularly will help to minimise this, those who are especially susceptible to allergy attacks may find it worthwhile investing in a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
5. Keep the laundry indoors
Try to avoid hanging laundry outside wherever possible, or hang them out later in the morning. This reduces pollen levels on your clothes and linens that can cause allergies in people with hayfever. Remember to bring them inside again before evening, when pollen begins to spread and levels in the air increase.
For more information, ASCIA website.