Allergies can be intimidating, especially when they follow you to your living area. While some people are quite resistant and need the most notorious of allergens to trigger autoimmune reactions, some can be put down by even the slightest hint of dust. For people who are highly allergic, ensuring that your living space is free from potential allergens is the first step towards protecting yourself.
A lot of allergens find their way into households and a thorough home improvement to ensure that your house is allergy free is essential. You don’t, however, need to do a major remodeling to rid your house of allergens. A few tweaks and replacements should be able to do the trick. Total elimination of allergens may not be possible in some cases but lowering exposure to irritants and keeping the symptoms at bay is quite achievable.
Below are a few home improvement ideas for an allergy-proof house.
Seal up unnecessary openings
Before they even find their way to your carpet, curtains or pillow, allergens usually drift to your house through the smallest of openings. Making it difficult for them to come inside is, therefore, the first logical step towards protecting yourself and your family. Your first task is to identify unnecessary holes and seal them to keep off unwanted visitors. If there are any openings that you don’t need and do not contribute to the general ventilation of the house, seal them off completely.
For the necessary ones like windows, doors and vents, you can use materials that can keep out the irritants without interfering with ventilation, such as screening for vents.
Swap Carpet for Hard Flooring
For people with allergies, carpets should be the last thing on their minds. They might be the cheapest and easiest way out when it comes to taking care of your floors but they also make for a favorite resting destination for most allergens. The carpets are really hard to clean and even the smartest vacuum cleaner may not be able to remove all the tiny dust particles and dander.
The good news is, there are other options to keep your flooring on point without exacerbating your allergy symptoms. A very good alternative to carpeting is hard flooring. They make it difficult for allergens to settle for long and are also the easiest to clean. There are a number of hard flooring options at your disposal. The most popular among homeowners is using hardwood. Others include laminate, linoleum, vinyl and bamboo flooring.
You should, however, be cautious which type you settle on. Although hard flooring is better at keeping allergens at bay as compared to carpets, some may contain irritants that can affect allergic people. Before choosing which type you want, inquire first about their safety. If the chemicals used in the manufacturing process may trigger an autoimmune reaction in allergic people, you better look for a safer option.
If you choose to go with stone flooring, use smooth stones instead of the porous ones. Make sure to vacuum your floors regularly using a vacuum cleaner that uses a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, preferably a robotic one, to suck even the tiniest of particles. If you use a non-HEPA vacuum cleaner, you will simply be recirculating the particles rather than removing them.
Get Rid of Allergic Pets
Pet dander, urine and saliva are some of the most notorious causative agents for allergies. Although these pets can be lovely companions, sometimes they pose a great danger to your health. It might be hard putting them away and that is why you should be very careful when getting one in the first place.
The dander level can, of course, be reduced by regular washing and brushing but sometimes it is necessary that you get rid of the pet altogether especially when you are really allergic to its dander. If you must keep them in your house, however, such pets as dogs and cats should be kept away from the bedroom and other resting areas. If you can, and if the weather permits, keep them outside.
Although they may not be as cuddly as your favorite cat or puppy, the following pets are allergy friendly.
- Devon Rex Cat
- Bichon Frise
- Sphynx Cat
- Portuguese water dog
Install Allergen-Blocking Furnace Filters
Air purification is very essential when it comes to fighting allergies. The air coming through your vents usually carry a plethora of allergens. Using effective furnace filters to ensure that they never make it to the house is important. Replace your filters with hypo allergic ones after every 6 months so that they remain effective in trapping allergens coming to your house.
Upgrade your Vacuum Cleaner
You might be wondering why you are still developing allergic reactions even though your regularly vacuum and clean your house. The problem might be your vacuum cleaner. As mentioned above, traditional cleaners will do nothing more than circulate dust particles and dander from one point to another. If you really need to get rid of allergens you need to upgrade your vacuum cleaner.
That means getting one that is HEPA compliant. This is a must for allergic people as they can suck articles as small as 0.3 microns. Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will ensure that you do away with most of the allergens in your house. Robotic vacuum cleaners that have HEPA filters installed are more effective and time-saving as they don’t need you to have your hands full while cleaning.
Get Rid of the Drapes
Fabric window treatments are also favorite resting points for allergens. Allergic people should avoid using such materials as curtains and drapes on their windows as they make it more favorable for irritants to settle. Go for window treatment options that are easy to clean and make it difficult for allergens to settle. There are some types of machine-washable curtains but a good choice would be to replace them with roller shades, blinds and wood shutters. There is a wide variety of blinds available on the market nowadays and getting one that marries well with your décor is not as frustrating as it used to be.
Opt for window treatments that let in just the right amount of light while keeping away the sun as it can exasperate allergy symptoms in some people.
Allergies can be devastating and really unpleasant. For allergic people, taking measures to ensure that your home is allergy free is crucial. If you follow the above home improvement tips, you should be able to significantly reduce exposure to irritants.