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Fall allergy season is here and I’ve already started taking steps to minimize the impact on my family. Four members of my family suffer from seasonal allergies. We try to avoid taking medication unless it’s absolutely necessary. I prefer to take natural steps to minimize allergens in my home. I’ve found that these 12 tips for a healthier home work for us and make Fall one of our favorite seasons.
Fall can bring the allergens of ragweed, dust mites and other seasonal elements. My goal for a healthier home is to keep those allergens out of the house and then to reduce our exposure to allergens that make it into our home.
Minimize time outdoors – Fall is our favorite season, so this is difficult for us. But you may want to consider ways that you can reduce the amount of time you spend outside. Also, minimize your pet’s time outdoors. You don’t want your dog or cat bringing a furload of allergens into your home.
Minimize your exposure to allergens when outside – When we go outside, my goal is to minimize the pollen and allergens that we’re exposed to. You can wear a hat to reduce the amount of pollen that adheres to your head and wear sunglasses to reduce your eyes’ exposure to allergens. You may also consider eliminating hair products that may cause pollen to stick to your hair.
Keep 2 rugs at each entrance to the house – I keep a mat outside each door and a rug inside each door. My family is careful to wipe their feet well, very well, on each of the rugs no matter which entrance they use when they come into the home. I clean these rugs frequently during allergy season. Using 2 rugs helps keep the allergens from entering my home.
Don’t wear your shoes in the house – I grew up in Hawai’i and shoes in the house is a big no-no. I immediately trained my husband as soon as we were married and my children as soon as they started wearing shoes to leave shoes at the door. By keeping our shoes in the garage or mudroom, we keep a significant amount of allergens from being tracked around our home.
Take the time to wipe your pet’s fur and paws when they come back inside – I leave a damp cloth near the back door and we wipe our dog down every time she comes back into our home from being outside. We change the cloth out daily (sometimes more often if I have time).
Keep windows closed – It’s tough when the weather turns crisp and cool to resist opening all the windows in the house, but keep them closed. Keeping windows closed helps keep allergens outside and out of your home.
Change the air filter in your HVAC system every 3 months and use an allergen reducing filter, like Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction Filter MPR 1500 – We’re faithful about changing our air filter once a quarter and choose our air filters carefully. The Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction Filter MPR 1500 is effective at capturing 90% of large airborne particles like dust, pollen and mold spores from the air that passes through the filter. It also attracts and captures microscopic particles that can carry bacteria and viruses. You can see how this filter will help reduce exposure to allergens that make their way into your home.
Dust and vacuum frequently – I dust and vacuum more frequently during Fall allergy season. You may also consider wearing a mask while cleaning to reduce breathing in allergens.
Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed – When we’ve been outside for an extended period, we shower in the evening. You collect allergens on your skin and in your hair during the day. Showering and washing your hair reduces your exposre to allergens while you’re sleeping.
Gently rinse your eyes and nose – I use natural tears eye drops each morning when I wake up to rinse allergens out of my eyes. You can also use a nasal rinse to wash away allergens you’ve breathed into your nasal passage.
Change your bedding weekly – I change our bedding at least weekly and wash it on a hot water setting. You may also consider changing your pillow case more frequently during the week.
Keep your pet out of the bedroom during Fall allergy season – I know it’s difficult, but all that fur is a big allergen magnet. Keeping your pet’s bed outside of your bedroom will help reduce your exposure to allergens while sleeping. We place our dog’s bed just outside the door so she can see and hear us, but she’s not in the bedroom spreading those allergens on her fur around while we’re sleeping
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