Controlling allergens in your home and particularly bedrooms is the most important step in preventing allergic reactions.
Checklist for an Allergy Clean Environment
Use the Checklist below as a guideline to minimize allergens in your home. It is not necessary to do everything on this list. Even doing a few things will help to improve the indoor environment and reduce allergen exposure. The more avoidance you can accomplish, the less you have to rely upon medicines and other forms of treatment.
- Encase your pillows, mattresses and box springs in allergen proof covers.
- Wash all bedding weekly in hot water (130 — 140 degrees F. or above)
- If you cannot wash bedding in hot water, use Allergen Wash or Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Hypo Allergenic Laundry Detergent
- Use an allergy air filter in your heating and air conditioning system. This filter should be a MERV 11 and will pull out most mold, dander, pollens and other lighter allergens.
- Clean the house regularly with a HEPA vacuum or an ordinary vacuum using high efficiency bags. Use a damp or specially treated cloth for dusting.
- Use one or more room air purifiers — the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) kind for your bedroom and any other room in which you spend a lot of time. Do not use devices that generate ozone as their primary purpose or as a by-product. This includes so-called “ionizers.”
- Keep humidity below 50% and preferably less than 40%. Both dust mites and mold are reduced in lower humidity. Use a humidity gauge to monitor humidity levels. If necessary, use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture in your home. Avoid using humidifiers unless humidity goes below 30%.
- Avoid dust-catching clutter. Use enclosed places to keep books, toys and clothing. Keep closet doors closed. Keep surfaces free of knick-knacks.
- Avoid stuffed animals unless they can be washed. Stuffed animals can be a major source of dust mite exposure.
- Use washable blankets or quilts. If you use a comforter, make sure it is encased in an impermeable liner.
- Keep floors bare or use washable throw rugs instead or area rugs and carpets. If you elect to keep carpeting, low pile “Berber” carpeting is best. Use Dust Mite Control to eliminate dust mites in carpeting.
- Use leather furniture or some other covering that will not allow dust mites to enter. Or allergens on upholstered furniture can be denatured or neutralized by using a product like Dustroy Anti-Allergen spray.
- Wear a dust filtering mask when cleaning the house or working in the yard.
- Put filters over supply register vents and change the filters regularly.
- Eliminate cockroaches and rodents by protecting sources of food and/or through extermination by a trained professional using non-toxic procedures.
- Install exhaust fans in the bathroom or over the stove to remove excess moisture.
- Inspect and remove sources of mold growth such as wet carpeting, rotting flooring, water-damaged wallpaper and firewood. Use a bleach and water solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) for surface mold removal.