Allergies are miserable. They make your throat and eyes itch, your nose run, and your head pound. It’s almost enough to make you want to hole up in your house, leave the pollen and other triggers outside, and avoid the things that cause your allergies. But what if your home is the allergen?
The air quality in your home can be greatly diminished by countless allergens and irritants. Some of the more commonly known are mold, pet dander, dust mites, and smoke. Some people are sensitive to feather pillows, cockroaches, or insect dropping. The list is long and intimidating. Coupled with other threats, such as chemical-laden cleaning products and high levels of lead, asbestos, radon, and carbon dioxide, your home can become downright threatening in regards to breathability and feeling good.
Sure you can make extra efforts to vacuum and dust, make sure to only use environment friendly cleaning products, and test for radon or carbon monoxide poisoning, but what can be done to minimize the allergens in your home from the get go and keep them from coming back? Fortunately, there are simple swaps you can make to remedy at least some of the allergy issues in your home and still have it look fantastic.
- You can keep your pillows, both on your bed and any decorative ones. Just make sure they aren’t feather, and keep them in dust mite covers. These are becoming increasingly popular and now are available in a variety of colors and styles.
- Remove your heavy synthetic curtains and plastic blinds, and replace all window treatments with those made of natural fibers. This will help reduce dust and look very clean and modern.
- Dump the fresh flowers, or be selective in picking ones that are hypoallergenic such as hostas, hydrangeas, and geraniums. Your best option may be quality silk flowers. They look like the real thing without any of the negative downsides.
- Use all natural bed linens, including sheets, blankets, and quilts. Get rid of any faux fur throw blankets. Get back to the basics with all natural fibers to help cut back on dust and irritants.
- Avoid heavily scented candles with artificial and chemically based scents. Opt for unscented soy candles or flameless candles to reduce irritation and breathing difficulties.
- Ditch the fan. Fans stir up dust and dirt and move them around. Instead, purchase an air cleaner or purifier to help your breathe cleaner, fresher air.
- Redo your floors. Tear up your carpet, which is a haven for dust mites, pet dander, and all kinds of other items you don’t need in your house. Install hardwood or ceramic tiles in any variety of color or style. Not only will you help reduce allergens, you’ll get a fresh, updated look.
- While you’re updating, go for a minimalist look. Keep it clean and simple by reducing the number of knick knacks and “things” you keep out. Reducing clutter reduces the number of items collecting dust.
- Get some new furniture. Try to eliminate couches and chairs made with synthetic fabrics that harbor dust, pet dander, and other allergens. Opt for leather. You’ll look chic and feel better.
- Put a fresh coat of “green” paint on the walls. You can actually choose any color, just make sure it is low or free of Volatile Organic Compounds. These are what cause the strong paint odor that can linger and trigger asthma attacks, as well as basic allergy symptoms.
Although you may have to spend a little bit of money up front, in the long run, you’ll reduce money spent on doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and over-the-counter remedies. With a few simple swaps, you can have your home looking clean and chic, the air healthier and easier to breathe, and your family feeling better.