Tips to re­duce al­ler­gens in your home this sea­son

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

Many people seek refuge in­doors around this time of year, when out­door air is full of pollen and other al­ler­gens. For al­lergy sufferers, how­ever, the air in­doors can prove to be just as prob­lem­atic.

Dust that col­lects in a home con­tains com­mon house­hold al­ler­gens such as dust mite par­ti­cles and an­i­mal dan­der. If dust is dis­turbed from fur­ni­ture, hard sur­faces and car­pet, those al­ler­gens can be­come air­borne and re­duce in­door air qual­ity.

May is des­ig­nated Na­tional Asthma and Al­lergy Aware­ness Month, and it is an ex­cel­lent time to make your home cleaner and health­ier by re­mov­ing com­mon house­hold al­ler­gens and im­prov­ing your in­door air. Even if you don’t have asthma or al­ler­gies, ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from bet­ter in­door air qual­ity.

“The way you clean your home is im­por­tant. Most house­hold clean­ing rou­tines only re-cir­cu­late al­ler­gens through­out your home rather than re­mov­ing them,” says Justin Bates, pres­i­dent of Stan­ley Steemer, In­ter­na­tional, Inc. “If your clean­ing rou­tine doesn’t specif­i­cally fo­cus on dust and al­ler­gen re­moval, you may be only mov­ing them around, send­ing al­ler­gens back into the air.”

To max­i­mize your clean­ing ef­forts while re­duc­ing al­ler­gens, con­sider these sim­ple tips:

• Dust hard sur­faces reg­u­larly with moist cloths or spe­cial dry dusters des­ig­nated to trap and lock dust.

• Wash your bed­ding and linens of­ten. Do­ing so can help you con­trol dust mites in your home.

• Vac­uum of­ten. Al­though clean­ing can some­times trig­ger al­ler­gic re­ac­tions by re­leas­ing dust into the air, vac­u­um­ing floors once or twice a week will re­duce sur­face dust and al­ler­gens. Make sure your vac­uum has a high ef­fi­ciency air fil­ter to cap­ture dust.

• Use a cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sional car­pet clean­ing ser­vice to deep clean your car­pets to re­move the stains, spills and dust that reg­u­lar vac­u­um­ing leaves be­hind. Be sure to use a ser­vice that’s qual­i­fied to re­duce al­ler­gens in the home. Stan­ley Steemer’s Pro­fes­sional Car­pet Clean­ing ser­vice is the first to be cer­ti­fied asthma and al­lergy friendly by the Asthma and Al­lergy Foun­da­tion of Amer­ica (AAFA).

In­de­pen­dent test­ing proved Stan­ley Steemer’s pro­pri­etary clean­ing process re­moved 94 per­cent of com­mon house­hold al­ler­gens, in­clud­ing 92.8 per­cent of cat dan­der, 97.8 per­cent of dog dan­der and 91.4 per­cent of dust mite al­ler­gens. The process also re­duces ex­po­sure to bac­te­ria and mold by 90 per­cent within 24 hours of clean­ing. AAFA rec­om­mends a cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sional car­pet clean­ing ev­ery three to four months.

• Pro­tect yourself when do­ing house­work by wear­ing a mask. Af­ter clean­ing, con­sider leav­ing for a few hours to avoid al­ler­gens in the air.

• Re­duce pet dan­der. If you have al­ler­gies, don’t keep pets with feath­ers or fur, such as birds, dogs and cats in your home. An­i­mal saliva and dead skin, also known as pet dan­der, can cause al­ler­gic re­ac­tions. If you al­ready have a pet, keep it out of the bed­room.

• Shut out pollen. In­spect your win­dows for a film of pollen on the frame or sill. Pre­vent pollen from en­ter­ing your home by keep­ing win­dows and doors closed. Use an air fil­ter and clean it reg­u­larly or run the

STATE­POINT PHOTO

Dust that col­lects in a home con­tains com­mon house­hold al­ler­gens such as dust mite par­ti­cles and an­i­mal dan­der. If dust is dis­turbed from fur­ni­ture, hard sur­faces and car­pet, those al­ler­gens can be­come air­borne and re­duce in­door air qual­ity.

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