The spring and summer months are the worst for allergy sufferers. Whether you are enjoying the outdoors or inside the safety of your own home, you have to deal with allergies.

Do you find yourself sneezing a lot during these months? Are you experiencing itchy and watery eyes?

You’re definitely not alone in your suffering. Over 20% of Americans suffer from allergic reactions. While there are over-the-counter medications that can ease your allergic reaction, keeping your home allergy-free is one of the best ways to stop suffering. Here are five ways to clean the air in your home.
Determine What Your Allergic to First

Before you do anything else, you need to know what’s making you sneeze. This involves booking an appointment with your allergist that can help you find out what’s wrong and provide the right treatment options. Some of the most common allergens are dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen. There’s no use in making your home allergy-free if you don’t address the reason for your spontaneous allergic reactions.

You might find out that you’re allergic to your cats when you thought you were allergic to trees all this time.

Stop Dust Mites in Their Tracks

De-clutter all of the surfaces and rooms in your home. You want to start with a blank canvas. Swap out your carpeting for low-pile carpets or throw rugs. You should also avoid using fabric furniture and heavy drapes. Replace those blinds and drapes with washable curtains or shades that roll down.

Use either plastic covers or zippered allergen-resistant covers on your box springs, mattresses, and pillows. These covers can keep dust mites at bay. Whenever you wash your bedding, they should be in 130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. Then throw them in a dryer on a hot cycle that will kill those dust mites.

Vacuum a Few Times a Week

Vacuuming once or twice a week is effective at keeping your home allergy-free. You should invest in a vacuum that reduces your risk of asthma and other allergic reactions. This means these vacuums have undergone several tests to prevent your home from being exposed to allergens. You should wear a mask while doing housework if you suffer from allergies. Leave your home for several hours following cleaning.

Clean Everything Around You

Making your home allergy-free sounds like a complicated task. It’s you against millions of dust mites, mold spores, and pollen. But you can outsmart them by effectively cleaning your home and keeping allergens away. For example, investing in non-leaking ductwork or having a well-ventilated house can keep allergens out of your home.

Mold is attracted to humid environments so it is important to keep the humidity in your home at 50% at all times. Meanwhile, dust and pollen thrive in dry spaces. You should open your windows between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the pollen count is low. Since mold and pollen are attracted to clothing, you’ll want to remove your garments every time you enter your home.

Keep Windows & Doors Closed

Keep allergens out by keeping your doors and windows closed. Use air conditioning during high pollen season to reduce your exposure to dust and allergens. This can also make your home cooler. You should also change the filters every few months and schedule regular maintenance appointments.

You should also invest in a home air filtration system. A home air filtration system filters the air in your home to keep it clean and allergy-free. Click here to learn more about home air filtration systems and why every new (and old) home needs.

Take Care of Each Room

It is important to focus on each room of your house to ensure that each living space is allergy safe. You should remove the wall to wall carpeting and stick with washable area rugs. Make sure to clean your area rugs regularly to cut down on mold, dust and other allergens that will stay in your carpet. You should consider replaying your upholstered furniture with leather, wood, metal or plastic. Upholstery is hard to keep clean and can make your allergies worse.

In the basement, check the foundation, windows, and stairwells for leaks or water damage and get fixed immediately. Also, use a dehumidifier to reduce dampness in your basement and check it often to empty water that has been collected. Reduce the clutter in all rooms of your home. Store clothes, children’s toys or any extra items in plastic bins to keep out moisture, reduce dust and keep them clean. If your home has a fireplace, avoid using them because the smoke and gases can make your respiratory allergies worse. However, most natural gas fireplaces won’t cause these issues and are generally safe to use.

In your bathroom, you should make sure to towel-dry the tub, shower, shower curtain, etc. after use to help reduce mold that could result from excess moisture. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom both have exhaust fans. The exhaust fan in the bathroom with help to reduce moisture. In the kitchen, a vented exhaust fan will help to remove cooking fumes along with reducing moisture. Also, in the kitchen keep an eye on your food. Use insect-proof containers, lids, and empty your trash daily. By reducing food waste and crumbs you can help to avoid rodents and insects.

A few other home tips to consider, if you have pets, keep them out of your bedroom, bathe them regularly and keep off of furniture if it’s upholstered. When using your washer and dryer, don’t leave wet clothes in washing machine-where mold can grow quickly. Also, avoid indoor house plants but if you do have some, remember that mold can grow in the damp soil.