Keep It Hypoallergenic: How to Reduce Household Allergens

Up to 60 million Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis, while 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. Although many people try to control their running noses and itchy eyes, triggers seem to be inevitable. A common culprit that’s found in many homes is your carpet and what can be hidden in it. Carpet is a popular flooring choice because of its unparalleled comfort, but it’s common for the fibers to hold all sorts of allergens that can irritate hay fever and asthma. 

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From constantly running an air purifier to maintaining a steady regimen of antihistamines, there are lots of methods for dealing with allergies. But, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Just a few simple tactics can cut down on the number of allergens that enter your home or are formed inside it. From rigid vacuuming schedules to having hypoallergenic carpet installed, here are some of the top ways to help keep you breathing easy at home. 

Try to Keep Pollen Outside Your Home 

Pollen is essential to plant life on Earth but, as one of the most common allergy triggers, it can make life miserable for countless humans. As a delicate, often microscopic particle, pollen can easily make its way into your home despite any protective measures you enact. Once it gets into your home, pollen will find its way into every crevice only to later make its way into the air, agitating your allergies long after the typical hay season ends. So, it’s best to try to minimize the amount of pollen that enters your home. Here are a few ways you can prevent and reduce pollen in your carpet and throughout your home. 

1. Shut Windows and Doors 

The cruel irony of hay fever is that the amount of pollen in the air peaks during seasons you’d most enjoy a fresh breeze in your home. There’s nothing better than the feeling of fresh spring air wafting through your home after a long winter. Unfortunately, that air is usually rife with pollen and other allergens. To combat the intrusion of these allergens, you should minimize the number of windows you leave open—especially if it’s very windy outside. As people move in and out of the house, try to make sure the door is closed behind them each time they enter or exit. 

2.  Regularly Change Your HVAC Air Filter 

Although the typical central HVAC system does not use outside air to cool your home, it does recirculate the air that’s already inside it. This means that once pollen has made its way indoors, your AC system will then spread it to every room in the home. Making sure that your HVAC air filter is always clean is a good way to trap much of that pollen. For extra protection, upgrade to a HEPA furnace filter. 

3. Use a Place Mat for Shoes 

While pollen typically moves through the air, it’s often brought into homes on shoes, or your pets’ fur and paws. A place mat at the front door for everyone to wipe their feet or place their shoes can help prevent pollen from being tracked onto your carpet and stuck in your home. 

Wash Away Pet Dander

All pets shed, even dogs claimed to be hypoallergenic or hairless cats. In fact, all mammals shed. While the term “shedding” is most commonly used to describe the release of hair or fur, it can also refer to pet dander—which is a fancy word for tiny bits of dead skin. These particles are a major trigger for allergy and asthma sufferers. Follow these steps so your pet and carpet can properly coexist without irritating your nose: 

1. Vacuum Frequently 

In addition to picking up the typical dirt and debris of everyday life and helping your carpet look fresh, vacuuming also picks up the things you can’t see, like pet dander. With a pet in your home, vacuum at least once a week to remove pet dander from your carpet and improve the overall air quality. 

2. Bathe Your Dog Regularly 

It’s commonly recommended to bathe your dog once every one to three months, depending on what kind of hijinks they get into. However, if you have allergies or asthma, you may need to do it more often. A bath once every other week can help remove dead skin cells before they have the chance to shed and spread throughout your home. 

Reduce Moisture to Reduce Mold

Mold is a naturally occurring allergen that is difficult to avoid, especially at home. Why? Because mold can develop and thrive wherever moisture is present. That means your bathroom, kitchen, and basement can all grow this pesky allergen. Here are a few ways to reduce mold growth in your home and help prevent it from triggering your asthma or allergies. 

1. Draw Out Moisture After Cleaning Spills 

You may already know how to remove stains from your carpet, but a thorough cleaning doesn’t end with just getting rid of the visible stain. It’s common for the cleaned spot to remain wet, creating the opportunity for mold to grow. To help prevent this, lay a dry towel over the freshly cleaned area and place a heavy object on top. This will help draw out remaining moisture and reduce mold allergens from growing in your carpet and your home. 

2. Use a Dehumidifier 

Excess humidity can do more than just frizz up your perfect hairstyle. It can also keep areas of your home perpetually damp, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold. Using a dehumidifier—especially during wet weather—will reduce the moisture in your environment and help combat mold growth. 

Use the Right Vacuum to Filter Out Dust Mites

Itchy eyes? Wheezing? Running nose? There’s a high chance that dust mites are the culprit for your pain and suffering. A strict cleaning schedule can help prevent them from growing and staying in your home. Try these tips to help keep your eyes clear: 

1. Clean Your Home Regularly 

This may seem like obvious advice, but cleaning isn’t as simple as everyone thinks. Even if your home is tidy, that doesn’t mean dust mites aren’t hiding under your bed. Frequent and thorough cleaning, even when your home just looks clean, is a great way to prevent dust mites from hanging around. 

2. Regularly Wash Your Bedding in Hot Water 

Dust mites eat dead human skin cells and love warm environments, which makes your bed a paradise for them. To help keep them at bay, it’s recommended to wash your sheets once a week in hot water. 

3. Choose the Proper Vacuum 

If your allergies or asthma are easily irritated, a high-quality vacuum cleaner can make a big difference. As recommended by the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can be a solution. These filters trap allergens and prevent them from being expelled back into your household when vacuuming. 

Opt for a Hypoallergenic Carpet or Hard-Surface Floor 

One very effective solution for greatly reducing the level of allergens inside your home is to remove all of the surfaces they’re most likely to hide in. That means making choices like a leather sofa instead of a fabric one, or hard surface floors instead of carpet and rugs.  

A hard surface like luxury vinyl plank or ceramic tile is the best flooring for allergies, offering multiple benefits in the battle against allergens. As non-porous surfaces, they won’t absorb any allergy-causing particles—there are no nooks or crannies for dust, dander, or pollen to collect in. And hard floors are also much easier to thoroughly clean than carpet. So, when any allergens do inevitably collect on the surface, they can be quickly wiped away with a damp mop or microfiber sweeper. 

But if you’ve got your heart set on soft carpet (and who could blame you?)  your best option is to choose a product designed specifically with allergy and asthma sufferers in mind, like HOME Fresh carpets, available exclusively from Empire Today. As a 100% hypoallergenic carpet, HOME Fresh combines a variety of features to help keep the air in your home cleaner. First, HOME Fresh fibers are made of a recycled material that does not absorb moisture or dust, drastically cutting down the number of allergens that will stick to the carpet and greatly reducing the likelihood of mold or mildew developing.  

It’s also built with a unique integrated padding which is designed for optimal airflow through the carpet, so any allergens that do come to rest on your floors can be vacuumed easier and more effectively. In addition to having padding that is built for easy cleaning, its fibers don’t absorb moisture. This helps prevent allergens and microbes such as mold from growing in this carpet. All of this adds up to make HOME Fresh the best flooring for allergies if you’re committed to carpet. 

If you’re ready to take a stand against allergens and have a fresher home, Schedule your FREE In-Home Estimate now and explore how HOME Fresh hypoallergenic carpets can help create a cleaner, fresher home. 

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