Got Allergies? Try These 4 Symptom-Killing Spring Cleaning Tips
If you suffer from allergies, engaging in spring cleaning is important for more than aesthetic reasons—it's key to preventing allergy symptoms.
"Thoroughly cleaning your home can help eliminate allergens and keep new ones from easily entering," explains Dr. James Sublett, an allergy expert at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "Allergy season can last all year for those sensitive to indoor allergens, but it can worsen in the spring months when pollen becomes an issue. It's important to remove allergens from the home so you can lead a healthy and active lifestyle.”
When spring cleaning in Sydney, implement the following four tips to eliminate allergens and keep your spring symptom-free:
1. Start with prevention. Throughout the year, be sure to use air filters which have a MERV rating of 11-12, and change them at least once every 3 months. Likewise, you should vacuum often (at least once a week, more in high-traffic areas), and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter (or use a cyclonic vacuum). Bedding should be washed weekly as well, along with any stuffed animals you or your children own.
2. Consider professional carpet cleaning. Though vacuuming frequently helps to keep allergens from nestling deep into carpet fibres, despite all of our best efforts, pet dander, mould, pollen, and dust mites will get ground into the layers of our carpets that vacuums cannot reach. Hiring a professional carpet cleaner as part of your spring cleaning regimen is therefore advisable; professional cleaners use commercial-grade hot water extraction carpet cleaning machines which powerfully suck dirt and allergens out from all levels of one's carpeting.
3. Keep windows closed during your spring cleaning. Many people habitually “air out” their homes as part of spring cleaning, but if you suffer from allergies, this will simply let more pollen enter the home, where it will find its way into carpeting and upholstery. Focus on changing air filters and installing dehumidifiers instead, to remove allergens, and to control dust mites (which need moist air to survive) and mould.
4. Schedule your outdoor activities to avoid pollen exposure. Spring cleaning usually involves a lot of yard work during the peak hours of the day (midday and afternoon); alas, this is when pollen counts reach their absolute highest, so you're bound to track a lot of allergens back into the house with you when you return indoors. Save your outdoor activities for evening, and be sure to wear gloves and an N95 particulate pollen mask when you mow the lawn.