You probably already know about all the usual allergens you might find in your home, such as dust mites and mold. However, allergens can sneak up on you from unlikely places, including your air conditioner and ductwork. If you’re not aware of them, you might suffer allergy symptoms every time you step foot in your home. To protect yourself from uncommon allergens in your Dover, Delaware, home, watch out for these problem areas.
Pillows and Bedding
If you notice your allergy symptoms worsen overnight, your bedding and pillows might prove responsible. Dust and mites build up in bedding over time, which can trigger your allergies and leave you tired and feeling stuffed up in the morning. Consider using double pillow cases on your pillows inserted in the opposite direction and washing them more often.
Additionally, duvet covers can help keep allergy symptoms at bay. Since you probably don’t wash your comforter or duvet very often, dust and dust mites can accumulate. A duvet cover is far easier to wash, so just remove it every week and throw it in the machine to keep your bedroom allergy free.
Bag Vacuum Cleaners
Many allergy suffers vacuum their homes often, which is an excellent practice. However, that means you might not fill up the bag every time you haul out this handy appliance. If you have a bag vacuum cleaner, the debris sits inside the bag until you want to vacuum again. Dust and other allergens accumulate inside, and you might experience more allergy symptoms while you attend to your chores.
Consider investing in a canister vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Both components will help keep your home clear of allergens, and you won’t have to fear your chore list anymore. Plus, ditching the bags reduces your carbon footprint because you’re producing less waste.
Fabric Window Treatments
While blinds might not look as pretty as the drapes you picked out for your home’s windows, they’re far more practical if you suffer from allergies. Fabric window treatments attract and hold onto dust, so you have to wash them often. Most people don’t bother because they don’t think about it. Therefore, consider exchanging your curtains for something you can easily dust, such as blinds or shades.
Alternatively, throw your drapes into the washing machine at least once a month to keep the dust under control. You can also try to vacuum them, but you might find the project tedious and labor-intensive.
Clogged HVAC Filters
Do you change your HVAC filter on a regular basis? If not, your HVAC system can become a breeding ground for allergens, from dust and pollen to mold spores. Plus, dirty air filters force your air conditioner or furnace to work harder, which results in higher energy bills.
Set an alarm on your smartphone to check your air filter once a month. You’ll start to learn how quickly it gets dirty, so you’ll know how often to replace it. Certain environmental factors, such as pet dander, can clog filters faster. Plus, if you or a family member suffers from allergies, you might want to change the filter more often than the manufacturer suggests.
Did you know dirty ducts can aggravate your allergies? Dust and debris get trapped in the nooks and crannies of the ducts, and then they circulate throughout your home when they become dislodged. Most homes don’t need to have their ducts cleaned often, but allergy sufferers might need this service more frequently.
This is especially true if you live in an older home and the ductwork is original to the house. Debris accumulation continues over time, so we’re happy to inspect your ducts and recommend cleaning if necessary. We don’t want you breathing poor indoor air.
Many people have allergies to certain pests, from rodents to insects. For instance, cockroach allergies can create a problem if these insects make their way into your home or HVAC system. They stay well hidden in dark, cool spots, so you might not know they exist unless you turn on a light and surprise them from their hiding places.
An exterminator can help you keep a pest problem under control. Additionally, avoid leaving any enticing food out for pests, such as fruit in a bowl on the counter or crumbs on the floor.
Showers and Bathtubs
Mold and mildew aren’t always visible, even when it comes to the bathroom. No matter how often you scrub your shower walls or your bathtub’s interior, mold and mildew can flourish. Specifically, they often propagate in drains or along dark strips of grout. They might even grow in the hinges of a swinging shower door or around the faucet in your tub.
Consider using a home testing kit to check for mold in these places. Just swab inside the drains and along other areas that might harbor mold. If you get a positive result, you can hire a mold remediation service to eliminate the problem, if the problem is extensive.
It’s always the last place you look. Most people can’t see the tops of their kitchen cabinets, so they don’t think about them often. However, dust can accumulate on top of the cabinets and on anything decorative you might keep up there. When you dust the rest of your house, work those cabinet tops into your cleaning routine.
To make the job easier, line the tops of the cabinets with wax or parchment paper. On cleaning day, just remove the paper, put it in the trash, and line the top with fresh paper. This way, you won’t swipe dust into your nose and eyes, and you might not even need a ladder or step stool.
Some people generate more waste than others. If you only take out the trash once or twice a week, the can might be the source of your allergy symptoms. Mold, dust, and other allergens can accrue in trash cans. Plus, any organic material will attract the aforementioned pests.
Consider getting a smaller trash can or using smaller liners. That way, you’ll take out the trash more often and expose yourself to fewer allergens.
You might have already learned to avoid perfume, cologne, and other sources of fragrances because of your allergies, but you’ll find fragrances in unexpected places. Deodorants, cosmetics, and even cleaning products can contain fragrances that irritate your nasal passages and tickle your throat.
When you buy household or personal products, look at the ingredients list. If you see perfume or fragrance in the list, don’t buy the product. Look for scent-free or fragrance-free products when possible, so you don’t accidentally treat yourself to a week of heightened allergies.
When you wear your shoes every day, moisture accumulates in the soles and uppers. Over time, the moisture can attract mold and other fungi, which might worsen your allergies. Consider treating your shoes with antifungal products to keep them fungus-free.
You can also shake antifungal powders into the shoes before you wear them, but keep in mind the powder will slowly build up and might shorten your shoes’ lifespan. The shoes you wear most often — especially athletic shoes — typically prove more susceptible to moisture and fungi.
Just like kitchen cabinets, tall furniture often gets neglected when it comes time to dust. You don’t want to pull out the step stool, so you swipe every other surface and leave those tall areas untreated. Unfortunately, dust can build up quickly, and you might experience increased allergy symptoms.
Highboys, armoires, entertainment units, and dressers are common problems in the home. So are high shelves and ceiling fans. Use a dust extension tool to dust those hard-to-reach areas. Lay down a sheet or towel to catch the falling dust if necessary, so you don’t trigger your allergies in the middle of your chores.
As you can see, allergens can come from many unlikely places. If you’re concerned about your HVAC system as a possible culprit, don’t leave it up to chance. We offer maintenance agreements that help you save money on regular maintenance of your system. Just call Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391 to learn more about our maintenance process and its benefits.
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