With spring well underway, many Michigan residents are relieved to get outdoors after a gray winter. But for many others, warm weather means the start of allergy season. Tree pollens are at their highest levels during their blooming season, while grass pollens become more active in May.
Allergy symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, fatigue, and itchy eyes, mouth, or skin. Perennial allergies—or ones that last year-round—are usually the result of mold, dust mites, pet hair or dander, or droppings left by insect infestations such as cockroaches.
Many over-the- counter medications can relieve symptoms, while allergy shots are available for severe cases. If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms, consult your doctor for more detailed information. There are many types of allergens, and knowing whether you are allergic to grass pollen, tree pollen, mold, or some other irritant is important.
Simple steps to reduce spring allergens in your home
Ease symptoms by keeping doors and windows closed. Clean the walkways into your home to avoid tracking pollen indoors, and increase vacuuming to once or twice a week. Take a shower before bed to rinse pollens from your hair and wash your bed sheets weekly in water that is at least 130°F to kill dust mites.
By reducing clutter left on flat surfaces, you eliminate spaces where allergens collect, and you make cleaning easier. Children’s toys can also be a magnet for dust and other particles, so washing them can also help reduce allergens in the home.
A HEPA air filter can also reduce allergens, and can be particularly helpful if used in your bedroom. A filter used near the bed can help clear the air of allergens while you sleep, leaving you more rested for the next day.
When pollen counts are at their highest, it may be smart to stay indoors. Dry, warm, windy days have higher pollen counts than others, and pollen is usually worst between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., and at dusk. Wear a pollen-filtering mask when doing outdoor chores such as mowing the lawn or save these tasks for those who are not affected.
Improper cleaning can make allergies worse
Many cleaning methods can reduce symptoms, but some may make them worse if not handled with care. Make sure your vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter, which will trap fine particulates. Lightly dampen your dust cloth when dusting, as this will trap pollen and keep it from spreading around the room. And if you have hardwood floors, wipe down your floors with a damp mop once a day instead of sweeping.
Avoid scented cleaners, as perfumes can trigger asthma. Remember to use the exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms when you clean to rid the areas of cleaning odors. If possible, switch to natural or odorless cleaners.
Rugs across an entryway can keep pollen from being tracked indoors, but choose a rug which can be easily washed. You can also take shoes off and leave them in an entryway. Dry your washing in a drier rather than on a line, as this will attract the very pollen you’re trying to avoid.
Give your pets some special attention
Many people have pet-related allergies caused by the proteins in pet saliva, urine, and dander.
While many who suffer from allergies chose not to own pets, it is possible to manage these symptoms and still enjoy your pet’s company.
Limit the areas of your house where your pet can roam. It is especially important to keep dogs and cats out of bedrooms and off beds. Furniture with cloth coverings, such as couches and sofas, should also be off limits. Look for bedding for your pet which can be easily washed or wiped down.
You can also reduce allergens by as much as 84% by washing your pets once a week. Avoid hot water, as it may cause more irritation to the skin, and use gentle shampoo. You can also wipe pets down with a damp cloth during the week, particularly after they’ve been outdoors, to clean their coat of pollen before they come indoors.
Professional cleaning can take allergy-prevention a step further
As the weather heats up, you’ll want to start running your AC more frequently. A thorough cleaning of your HVAC system will help rid your ducts of allergens before they spread through your home. Make sure your air duct cleaners are NADCA-certified, and that they use the kind of high-performing equipment which is up to the task. Don’t forget to change your AC filter as well for maximum efficiency.
Carpet cleaning can help remove allergens from your home, but only if your carpet cleaners use water hot enough to kill dust mites, bacteria, and allergen proteins. They should also use a powerful water extraction system which thoroughly removes water and cleaning solution from your carpets. Modernistic’s truck mounted hot water extraction system provides both these benefits. Using non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning solutions heated to temperatures between 220–240 degrees, and a truck-mounted hot water extraction system powerful enough to lift a 15-lb bowling ball, they will safely clean your carpets all the way down to the backing.
Your bedroom may also need special attention. Mattresses in particular can play host to a high percentage of allergens, including dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. Modernistic supplies special mattress cleaning services, as well as anti-allergen treatment which is green, non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, and perfume free.
Modernistic can help relieve symptoms of allergy sufferers
The constant drain on your system of continually battling allergies can turn some of Michigan’s finest months into an unbearable burden. If you or anyone in your household are suffering from allergies, Modernistic’s services can help make the warm weather bearable again. Contact Modernistic today to schedule your appointment, either by phone or via their online scheduling tool. Find more information at www.modernistic.com.