Creating An Allergy Symptom-Free Home

May 2013

Spring is in the air, which means allergy season is in full bloom.

My children and I are all allergy sufferers, which is why creating the best home environment for our health is critical.  One way to do this is by knowing and reducing those triggers that cause our asthma and allergies to flare up.
 
The first step in minimizing exposure in the home is keeping your indoor air quality clean.  Cleaning products, cooking and paint fumes, wood smoke, tobacco, aerosol sprays, perfumes, and scented candles are possible triggers to avoid.
 
   - Don't smoke in the house.
   - Avoid scented products.
   - Use unscented laundry detergents in your laundry.
   - Use natural green cleaning products to clean your home.
   - Run the air conditioning on high pollen count days. 
   - Remember to clean your air conditioner filter regularly (at least once a month).
 
Dust mites are bugs that live in household dust.  They eat human skin cells and are found mostly in upholstered furniture, bedding, and rugs.
 
   - Vacuum and dust often, at least once a week.  Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.  When dusting, use a damp cloth to avoid spreading dust mite particles in the air.
   - Choose bedding made with synthetic materials.  Avoid feather or down pillows and comforters.
   - Keep clutter to a minimum.
   - Wash all bedding in hot water greater than 130 degrees Farenheit and dry it on a high setting.
   - Cover mattresses, pillows, and boxsprings with mite-proof covers.
   - Use a dehumidifier in the basement or other damp areas of the home.  Empty the water pan frequently.
 
Molds are plant-like organisms that grow on surfaces and flourish in damp areas like bathrooms and basements.  Molds reproduce by sending spores into the air.
 
   - Fix leaky pipes and faucets.
   - Make sure the bathrooms and basement are well ventilated.  Lower moisture by using fans or running a dehumidifier.
   - Clean mold on surfaces by spraying white distilled vinegar on the moldy       areas.
 
Animal hair itself does not cause allergies, but it can collect mites, pollen, and mold.
 
   - Keep pets out of bedrooms and playrooms.
   - Wash and brush your pet every week.
   - Wash hands after touching your pet.
   - Clean pet cages daily.
 
Reducing asthma and allergy triggers in your home can help reduce flare-ups.
 
Cleaning your home with green cleaning products that contain natural ingredients helps keep your indoor air clean and reduce allergens so your family can enjoy a healthier, happier spring season! 
 
In honor of May's "Asthma and Allergy Awareness" month, www.blog.maidbrigade.com will contain tips and ideas all month long about asthma, allergies, and ways to reduce triggers in your home. 
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