Did you know that more than one in five Americans suffer from allergies? If you or one of your family members feel overcome with itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing or shortness of breath, or if you have asthma issues in your Florida home, you might need to improve indoor air quality in order to improve your health. To reduce the amount of allergens and asthmatic triggers in your home, consider taking a couple of these easy allergy-proofing steps for the different areas of your home:
In the Bedroom
- Bed and Bedding. Your bedding can be the site of considerable buildup of allergens. Make sure all of your pillows, mattresses and box springs are enclosed in dust mite-proof covers. You should wash your bedding at least once a week and remove any fabrics consisting of synthetic materials.
- Flooring. Where feasible, remove any carpeting and replace with linoleum or hardwood flooring. Where carpeting cannot be replaced, make sure you use a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter at least once a week.
- Curtains and Blinds. Your curtains and blinds should be kept clean and free of all debris buildup Consider replacing horizontal blinds with washable products.
- Windows. Windows should be kept closed during pollen seasons and regularly cleaned to prevent mold and condensation buildup.
- Furnishings. If you suffer from allergies, you want furniture that can be easily cleaned and kept free of triggers. This includes choosing furnishings like dressers and chairs from easy-to-clean materials like leather, wood, plastic and metal.
- Air Filtration. Because you spend so much time in your bedroom, it is important to have at minimum one stand-alone air cleaner complete with a small-particle or HEPA air filter.
- Flooring. As in your bedroom, replace floor carpeting with linoleum or hardwood flooring where feasible. If not, use a HEPA-filtered vacuum on floors weekly and shampoo carpets once a month.
- Furniture. While upholstered sofas and chairs may be comfortable, they can also be the cause of your allergy issues. Improve indoor air quality by replacing these breeding sites with furnishings made of easy-to-clean leather, wood, plastic and metal.
- Plants. Houseplants are a great way to improve indoor air quality. They filter out harmful toxins while also helping to balance indoor humidity. However, it is important to spread a light gravel (aquarium gravel works great) over the soil in potted plants, so as to prevent any potential mold growth.
- Fireplaces. Sure, they provide aesthetic enjoyment, but wood-burning fireplaces and stoves can cause huge problems for people with respiratory ailments. If you are a devoted fireplace fan, consider the installation of a natural gas fireplace.
- Stove. Many stove-top hoods are poorly designed, failing to vent particulates properly outdoors. To eliminated cooking fumes and reduce excess moisture in your kitchen, install a vented exhaust fan on your stove-top.
- Sink. Never let dirty dishes pile up. In additional to daily dish washing, make sure your sink and faucets are scrubbed free of mold and food buildup.
- Refrigerator. Keep tabs on the your foods’ expiration dates, throwing out moldy and expired items. It is additionally important to clean up excessive moisture and regularly clean the dripping pan.
- Cabinets and Counters. All opened food not kept in the refrigerator should be kept in sealed containers: this includes pet food. To further improve indoor air quality, keep your cabinets and counter tops washed and cleaned with a mixture of detergent and water.
- Ventilation. Your bathroom is susceptible to hazardous moisture buildup. Install an exhaust fan to use when family members take showers or baths.
- Walls. If possible, remove any wallpaper and replace it with tile or pane that includes a mold-resistant composition.
- Shower and Tub. Your bathtub and shower area should be toweled dry after every use. This helps prevent the growth of mold.
- Toilet and Sink. Your plumbing fixtures should be regularly scrubbed and kept inhospitable to mold growth. Additionally, check for any plumbing leaks and take care to repair them as soon as possible.
For more information on allergy-proofing your household and how to improve indoor air quality in your Florida home, or to learn about other comfort-improving heating and cooling products and solutions, contact your local experts at Aqua Plumbing & Air. We are a licensed, full-service air conditioning and heating contractor; our certified technicians have been proudly providing superior service to the Sarasota, Bradenton, and Manatee County areas for more than 37 years.