Over 50 million Americans suffer from some sort of allergies each and every year. Though some of the allergies are related to foods and medicines, the vast majority of allergy sufferers react to different airborne particles.Though taking a walk through the forest in the early spring months will most likely trigger your tree pollen allergies, many of the worst allergens are actually present in our homes and the buildings we inhabit.
House dust, mold spores, pollen, particles from different fabrics and textiles, dust mites, cat and dog dander, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are just a few of the most common allergens that may be contaminating our home´s indoor air quality. Learning how to remove allergens from your house is one of the most important strategies for ensuring a healthy home.
Below, we offer a few strategies for how to get rid of pollen in house, how to clean pet dander, and how to ensure the healthiest, allergen-free air for your home.
The Problems With Allergens in the Home
Suffering from allergies is the sixth leading chronic disease in the United States. According to one recent estimate, the total annual cost of allergies to the healthcare system and businesses in the United States stood at a whopping $18 billion! Though many people may think that they can escape seasonal allergies by staying at home instead of heading outside, allergen levels are often higher INSIDE the home as compared to outside the home.
For example, fine particles from dust mites are one of the most common causes of severe allergies. Dust mites flourish in warm, humid places and homes that suffer from high humidity levels may be a perfect breeding ground for this type of allergen. Furthermore, many people who suffer from common airborne allergies may also experience an allergic reaction to cockroaches.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “studies show children who are allergic to cockroaches, and are exposed to them, need to go to the hospital for asthma more often than other children with asthma.”
Furthermore, airborne mold spores can also cause allergy sufferers to experience allergic rhinitis and asthma. More than half of all homes in the United States have mold problems (with some estimates rising to 70 percent of homes), and 28 percent of the population have genes that make them highly susceptible to mold-related health issues.
How to Remove Allergens From Your Home
Removing allergens from your home should be a priority for everyone who suffers from allergies.
Here are a few strategies to protect your home’s indoor air quality through allergy-proofing your home:
- Use Dust-Mite Proof Covers for Couches and Bedding
Dust mites tend to accumulate in bedding, couches, and other pieces of furniture. One of the best ways to keep pillows, mattresses, sofas, and box springs free of dust is to install dust-mite proof covers. These covers have tightly packed fibers which make it impossible for dust mites to pass through.
- Wash Bedding with Hot Water
By washing weekly all bedding using the hot water setting, you can also get rid of dust mites. The water needs to be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Purchase a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter
Obviously, regular vacuuming can help to get rid of dust and other allergens. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will ensure less volatility of those allergens as you clean.
- Opt for Natural Materials
For serious allergy sufferers, invest in furniture and furnishing made from leather, wood, metal, and other natural materials. Avoid plastics and upholstered furniture items.
- Close Windows during Pollen Season
Though it might be tempting to open the windows during those fresh spring days, keeping them closed and relying on the air conditioning can also help to keep outside allergens from entering your home.
- Invest in Mechanical Ventilation Systems
Lastly, mechanical ventilation systems such as HRVs and ERVs can also help to keep your home supplied with fresh, allergen-free air while not compromising on your home's energy efficiency.
Protect Your Next Home From Allergens With Natale Builders
Natale Builders is the leading custom home builder in the western New York area. We can help you plan and build a custom home that ensures the best indoor air quality for people who suffer from allergies. We have over 50 years of experience in building custom homes, and we are also proud to be an industry leader in Energy Star and Green Build designs for homes and neighborhoods in Western New York.
Contact Natale Builders today to get started planning the home of your dreams!