It’s that lovely time of year again, when we pull the sweaters out of the closet, go to football games and enjoy the crisp weather. For many in Pennsylvania, fall is a favorite season, but for people with allergies, it can be a drag. With a few quick cleaning tips, you can make autumn easier for those who struggle with allergies.
Cleaning Tips to Decrease Fall Allergy Symptoms
Seasonal allergies are a drag, but your runny nose and itchy eyes could be greatly improved with some simple home maintenance steps. These include:
- Decluttering commonly used spaces in your home,
- Regular vacuuming with a HEPA filter,
- Dusting surfaces with a microfiber cloth,
- Washing linens, curtains, rugs and other fabric items,
- Cleaning windows and fans,
- Clearing leaves away from the house,
- Controlling humidity,
- Having ducts cleaned and furnace serviced.
Before you can clean your house well, you will have to put things in order. Papers, boxes, picture frames, vases, collectibles and generic clutter should be put away, at least temporarily. This will allow you to clean and dust easily and more thoroughly.
Vacuum Often and Thoroughly
Allergy experts recommend that you invest in a high-powered vacuum with a HEPA filter use it throughout your house at least twice a week during high allergy seasons. Concentrate on the rooms of your home which are used most often, such as entryways, the kitchen, living room and bedrooms.
Move through the rooms working from the top to the bottom. Use the vacuum attachments to get rid of the cobwebs at the top of the walls and dust on top of bookshelves and on the headboard over the bed. Then, vacuum all the surfaces of lower furniture. Be sure to move items around as you vacuum to reach behind books, around electronics and under furniture. Take off the cushions from the couch, turn over the mattress and lift up chairs in order to vacuum their underside. Finally, pass over the flooring, carpets and area rugs.
Dust Off Surfaces
For those hard-to-reach areas that you can’t get to with a vacuum, dusting is the next best thing. Don’t use traditional dusters which just spread allergens and send them flying. Instead, use a microfiber cloth which is designed to attract dust and keep it in the cloth. Dusting around the house should be done at least once a week to help allergy sufferers.
Wash, Wash, Wash
When you have seasonal allergies, spring cleaning should be applied in the fall too. For anything that can be washed in the washing machine, now is a good time to throw it in, even because you will need to put summer items away and take out your cool weather things. This might include blankets, mattress covers, blankets, couch covers, rugs, curtains and pillows.
Bed linens and towels should be washed more often. To decrease allergen levels, wash these items in hot water and dry them in the drier rather than outside.
Clean the Window Treatments & Fans
Dust and allergens love to hide in window shades and blinds. Similarly, dust often builds up on the edges and tops of fan blades. These are especially critical for anyone with allergies because an open window or running fan that moves dust around will ultimately decrease air quality.
You can clean these items fairly quickly. First, remove the buildup with microfiber dusters and vacuum attachments. Then, clean the surfaces with a damp sponge. Curtains should be laundered or vacuumed at least once a month.
Watch this video for more home cleaning tips to help decrease your seasonal allergy symptoms in the fall.
Clear the Leaves Away
It’s beautiful when the leaves change color in the fall, but it also means a lot of work. To help decrease allergy symptoms, don’t let the leaves pile up as they tend to harbor mold spores and mildew. Regularly rake leaves away from the house, especially around the windows, sliding doors and patio areas. Autumn is also a good time for homeowners to clean out the gutter. Dispose of the leaf piles, gutter buildup and compost as soon as possible and don’t forget to wear an allergen mask when handling them.
Balance Humidity Levels
For allergy sufferers, humidity is an important factor for controlling symptoms. If there is too much humidity, it can facilitate mold and mildew growth in the house, but dry air can keep allergens airborne. The optimal humidity level is between 35 and 50%.
To decrease humidity, you should increase airflow in the room and consider using a dehumidifier. Using the air conditioning system is another effective way to lower humidity. If you have the opposite problem, it’s easy to increase the humidity levels with a humidifier.
Duct Cleaning & HVAC Maintenance
Homeowners can help clear the air during allergy season by washing vents and filters where ragweed, pollen, mold spores and dust get stuck. Your trusted HVAC service company can improve air quality as well with regular duct cleaning. Fall is a great time to have your technician clean the ducts in your house, change the furnace filter and tune-up your heating system. This will ensure that your home is ready for the winter before the cold hits this year.