While the onset of spring compels many of us to head outdoors to bask in the warm air, seasonal allergy sufferers may be closing the windows tight and hiding indoors! By all accounts the 2013 allergy season is shaping up to be the longest and most severe on record. Climate change, heavy late-winter precipitation, and current warm temperatures have resulted in higher-than-normal pollen production.
We can’t change the air outside, but there are many good options for controlling the amount of dust and allergens within our homes. Dusting and vacuuming regularly are essential. Always choose a vacuum and wet mop over a broom and dustpan, and dust with a damp cloth rather than a dry duster. The damp mop or cloths helps to capture the dust particles within the fibers, whereas a dry cloth can put the dust back into the air opposed to capturing the particles. When choosing a cloth look for one with a high fiber count, like the E-Cloth, to ensure as many particles as possible are captured.
Choosing a vacuum with a HEPA filter will ensure that even the smallest particles and irritants will not escape your vacuum only to be released back into the air. An air purification system will also help to alleviate symptoms indoors, providing relief from congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes.
For the best filtration be sure to replace your vacuum’s HEPA filter when required. Typically the HEPA filter needs to be changed every two years, but it may need to be replaced frequently depending on the manufacturer. The standard vacuum attachments, like: the crevice tool, and upholstery attachment, will help you clean your home thoroughly. Micro tool sets for hard to reach areas like computer keyboards and stereo equipment are available.
If you do venture outside, wearing a hat and sunglasses will help prevent pollen from landing in your hair or getting in your eyes; keep these items in a separate area of your house if possible. Leaving shoes outdoors or in a mudroom will also help to control pollen and allergens by keeping them out of your living space. And believe it or not, showering after time outdoors will remove a lot of pollen that may still be lurking in your hair or on your skin.
With a little extra care and the right tools, spring can be manageable for even the most allergy-prone among us.