Indoor air pollutants like dust, mold spores, pet dander and dust mites can make your entire family uncomfortable, but especially those with allergies or asthma. With a bit of extra care and maintenance around your home, you can remove many common allergy triggers and prevent future accumulations.
Have Your HVAC System Serviced
Routine annual, or semi-annual, maintenance of your HVAC system, such as cleaning the evaporator coil, blower fan and air handler cabinet, can reduce the accumulation and distribution of allergy triggers, while also improving system efficiency and extending its lifespan. Between service visits, you should replace the air filter yourself monthly to minimize allergens and dust, and every few years, consider having the ducts cleaned to eliminate any residual accumulations.
Upgrade Your Air Filter
If your air conditioner or heating system has only a basic air filter, it may allow smaller contaminants to pass through. Consider upgrading to a filter with a higher MERV rating for improved air quality or, for the best air filtration, consider electrostatic or HEPA systems.
Dust mites, mold and other allergens thrive in a moist environment. If your home is excessively humid, consider adding a dehumidifier to maintain humidity levels at 50 percent or lower, and make sure that your air conditioner is sized correctly for your home so that it can dehumidify properly.
Use Hypoallergenic Bedding
Use hypoallergenic mattress covers, sheets, pillows and pillow covers for each bedroom, as well as easily-washable blankets, and clean them weekly. Minimize clutter in the bedroom and use hardwood or vinyl flooring instead of carpet to prevent dust accumulations.
Sweep and mop hard-surface floors often, and vacuum carpets at least weekly with a machine that uses a HEPA filter to minimize dust. Dust often using a moist cloth or disposable wipes, and consider adding easily-washable slip covers to keep furniture clean.
If allergens are still a problem in your home, consider installing a whole-home air cleaning or ventilation system.