4 Things in Your Home Causing Allergies and How to Fix Them
This season marks the start of spring allergies, but did you know that indoor allergies are a common year-round problem for many homeowners? If you’re seeking refuge from the pollen outdoors, make sure that you take a close look at the allergens and air quality within the home that can be causing health problems. Here are some of the most common sources of allergies:
Typically, humid, warm homes mean that there are more dust mites, as they absorb moisture from the air. The allergens from these mites usually settle into locations like bedding, upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpeting. An effective home upgrade that will eliminate places that house dust mite allergens, pollen, and pet dander is swapping out wall-to-wall carpeting for bare floors. Hardwood, tile, slate, or vinyl floors are much better options.
Smaller changes can also be made around the house to avoid dust mites. Opt for washable rugs and curtains, declutter, purchase allergy-friendly mattresses and pillow casings, and wash your bedding and stuffed animals in hot water. If you’re undergoing a renovation, you should be extra cautious about dust and consider investing in a dust extraction vacuum. You’re probably already stressed from the project taking over parts of your home, so you don’t need to worry about suffering from sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, or an irritated throat.
If your home has leaks and excess moisture, you’re most likely going to be dealing with mold and mildew. This commonly pops up in basements and bathrooms but can find its way into many areas of your home. Mold and mildew are known to cause allergic reactions and worsen asthma, amongst other illnesses, if there’s prolonged exposure.
In order to avoid this, regularly check out leaks in your roof, windows, pipes, and areas that have seen flooding. These are common spots for mold to grow, along with more unexpected locations like ceiling tiles, air conditioning units, and insulation. Try to reduce the moisture in the air as much as possible with dehumidifiers and air conditioning, or secure an air purification unit. Making sure that there’s proper ventilation in your home will ensure there’s less moisture, odors, gases, dust, and other air pollutants.
According to Forbes, 66% of households in the U.S. own a pet (that equates to 86.9 million homes). If you own a pet or share a space with one, you may be affected by pet allergens. Surprisingly, these typically stem from saliva, dander, or urine, rather than pet hair!
If you’re looking to minimize symptoms from your furry friend, try to keep them out of common living spaces like the bedroom or off of living room furniture. Wash your pet’s toys, regularly vacuum them, and try to replace carpeting with a hardwood alternative.
The National Pest Management Association has found that “63% of homes in the United States contain cockroach allergens. In urban areas, that number rises to between 78% and 98% of homes.” Commonly an issue in urban, densely populated areas, cockroaches can enter the home through crevices, windows, and other cracks.
Make sure to fix leaky faucets and pipes, and use lidded food containers and garbage bins wherever possible. Try not to keep dirty dishes in the sink and remain cautious about crumbs you may be leaving behind.
Financing Your Renovations
You may want to consider making big improvements to your home to improve your health, such as installing hardwood, upgrading to higher-quality home appliances and systems, or hiring a professional to remove asbestos and lead paint. If you’re considering making these changes, tapping into funds from your home’s equity can be a great way to invest in a project that will increase your home value in the long run. From personal loans to credit cards, there are plenty of ways to finance a home renovation, so do your research to find out what’s right for you personally.
Allergies may seem like a minor inconvenience at worst, though if left untreated, they can contribute to adverse health issues and chronic illnesses. In addition to a greater susceptibility to illness in general, studies have linked this exposure to asthma, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, and ear infections. Addressing the root of these issues within your home will do a great service to your overall health and well-being in the short and long term.