Tips for Combating Summer Allergies
During summer allergy season, many of us start thinking about the quality of the air we breathe outdoors. Summertime seasonal allergies begin in April and typically continue through October. The months of April and May are the blooming months for thousands of plants and flowers - tree pollen, mold, and mildew fills the air, especially in more humid areas.
But how do summer allergens impact indoor air quality? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air may be four to five times more polluted than outdoor air. And with Americans spending nearly 90 percent of our time inside, we often take indoor air quality for granted.
Here are a few simple home cleaning tips can help prevent those allergens from taking up residence in your home!
Clean Your Vents
You can dust and clean the tops of the vents yourself and have a professional duct cleaner clean the inside of your ductwork. Schedule an air duct cleaning service to ensure your ducts are free from allergens.
You want to thoroughly dust all surfaces, window sills, baseboards, ceiling fan blades, and even your plants (wiping the leaves down actually makes them healthier)!
Move your furniture to clean your carpets and rugs, going over each section a few times (you may want to clean out the brushes on the bottom of the vacuum cleaner to improve its performance).
Clean Your Textiles
While bed sheets are cleaned fairly often, it's easy to forget about quilts, blankets, and pet beds that should be cleaned quarterly. Cover your mattresses and pillows with allergen-proof covers and wash bedding weekly in hot (130 degree) water to minimize dust mites.
Use Baking Soda & White Vinegar
Baking soda is regularly used to absorb odors, so set some out in various rooms throughout your home (try putting it in a decorative container)! Use white vinegar to clean your linoleum floors - it's a natural deodorizer!
Open the Windows
Open a window on each side of your house to promote a healthy breeze, which helps to clear stagnant air and push polluted air out.
Moisture-Proof Your Bathroom
Due to humidity and moisture, bathrooms are a common breeding place for mold and mildew. Using mold-proof shower curtains to discourage mold growth and repairing insulation and cracks to reduce dampness.