Image courtesy of Rob Ireton
The modern luxury of air conditioning has done wonders for comfort in the home, but these devices can just as easily cause discomfort for those with allergies, asthma and other respiratory complications. Paying close attention to the air you breathe and taking steps to keep it clean and healthy is one of the most effective ways to prevent allergic reactions and make your home an allergy-free oasis. To accomplish this goal, apply the following four changes to your home maintenance routine:
1. Change Air Conditioner Filters Frequently
Experts recommend changing your air filters at least once every six months, but allergy-sufferers would benefit from replacing them much more often. Start by getting into the habit of changing your filters every three months, or just switch them out every time your start to experience allergy symptoms. Even when you keep your home relatively clean, airborne contaminants like dust mites, mold, pet dander and other irritants can quickly affect your breathing. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation claims that eight out of 10 people in the U.S. are exposed to house dust mites and six out of 10 are exposed to pet dander.
2. Drink Hot Tea
Hot tea is perfect for both preventing and treating a variety of different ailments, but can be especially helpful for those with allergies because it opens up your throat, and the steam from hot tea helps open sinuses. Ingredients in green tea have been shown to reduce allergy symptoms in general, while also preventing free radicals and improving overall health.
3. Invest in an Air Purifier
Humidifiers in the winter and dehumidifiers in the summer are must-haves for allergy-sufferers. However, air purifiers take allergen-elimination to the next level by actively removing airborne contaminants that linger in your environment. Look specifically for High-Efficiency Particulate Air purifiers, since they are verified by the Environmental Protection Agency to collect and eliminate the greatest amount of microscopic impurities.
4. Clean Regularly and Thoroughly
The logic is this: impurities can’t get in your air if they’re not in your home. Keeping a clean and sanitary home is one of the best ways you can improve your breathing and eliminate allergies, since this limits the likelihood of contaminants infiltrating your environment. Vacuum at least once per week and make sure to cover the entirety of the floor each time you clean. This might mean you have to move some furniture and unhinge the nozzle to get into corners and crevices; however, this extra work will pay off in the form of better breathing and reduced allergy symptoms.
In any case, it’s always important to visit your doctor for some expert, personalized advice on how you can best fight off allergies throughout the year. Often, these life changes will need to be supplemented with allergy medications, so it’s important to have the right ones on hand during especially rough seasons. By performing some basic preventative measures and taking medication as needed, you need not suffer from allergies inside your home.