While many people suffer from seasonal allergies, which tend to get worse certain times of the year due to an increase in pollen, others seem to have problems all year long. In the latter set of individuals, the cause of allergies may be in the home. Dust mites live in dwellings, eating the dust and dander that collect in the fabrics. By reducing the number of dust mites, it is possible to reduce allergy suffering.
Encase the mattress and pillows of the bed with hypoallergenic covers. These tightly woven fabrics allow the bedding to continue to breathe, so the user does not feel like he or she is sleeping on plastic, but are dense enough to prevent penetration by the dust mite. Bedding should be changed and washed weekly. When the sheets are off the bed, be sure to vacuum the cover to remove any skin particles that may have collected.
Vacuum the carpets two to three times per week. The longer between one waits to clean rugs, the more dust particles work their way into the fibers, where they remain to become food for mites. Carpets should be shampooed at least twice per year. However, make sure they dry thoroughly before moving furniture back into the room. If the carpets do not dry, mold can grow, creating a new set of problems. Consider replacing carpets with tile, hardwood or other hard surface flooring.
Vacuum upholstered furniture at least once per week. Leather or vinyl upholstery may be a better choice as it is harder for the dust to penetrate. Heavy drapes should be avoided and window covering should be cleaned regularly.
Consider adding a HEPA cleaner to the room where the individual who suffers from allergies spends most of his or her time. A better filter may be available for the HVAC system in the home. Electrostatic furnace filters are available and remove dust by blasting it to oblivion using electricity. The vacuum should also be equipped with HEPA filtration to prevent spewing dust back into one’s home.
If problems continue, consider having the ducts of the air conditioning system cleaned. In older homes, many years of use may have allowed dust to collect in these air passageways. Every time the system turns on, another layer of dust is forced into the room, aggravating the allergy symptoms once again. Companies providing this service use high performance vacuums to remove the particles from the system and out of the home.