Allergen Proofing Your House In Five Simple Steps

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that over fifty million Americans suffer from various seasonal allergies every year. You would think our houses would keep us safe, but often they’re a catch-all for dust, mold spores, mites, and pollen particles. All this spells doom for those who are prone to seasonal allergies. The good news is, a good old-fashioned scrubbing and some clever home and garden hacks can transform your home into a haven from allergies.  This simple guide will make your home as allergen-free as possible and give you some relief from the sneezes and wheezes.


Do this step right before allergy season sets in. Start with porous items like old rags, newspapers, and clothes. Discard those that are out of use and clean the rest. Try to keep your surfaces clear and free of knickknacks and magazines that collect dust. The bedroom where you spend the most time is a room that you should air out and dust thoroughly since allergens like dust and mites tend to be concentrated in this room. Carpeting, curtains and upholstered furniture in the bedroom should be vacuumed with a HEPA filter. If you can, use blinds for the allergen season and swap out your carpeting for a throw rug which can be thrown in the washing machine frequently. Mop exposed floors daily so that your house stays dust-free.

Clear the air and seal the house

Get your house as well-ventilated as you can. Seal leaking ductwork to keep allergens outside the house. Then fit a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter into your air conditioning. This weeds out even more allergens. Set your thermostat at a humidity level of 50 percent. This magic setting knocks out mold (it will be too dry for it to grow) as well as dust and pollen (too moist for them to be stirred easily) with one fell swoop. Keep your windows closed in the early morning hours or if it’s too windy outside.

Set up a mudroom

If you have a mudroom, organize it so that clothes, jackets, footwear, and socks can be cleaned as soon as possible. If you don’t have a whole room, it’s easy enough to set up an area near the entrance of the house where you can take off jackets, shoes, and socks where pollen particles might have settled.

Scrub and air the bathroom

You should get into the habit of airing out a bathroom even when it isn’t allergy season.  A damp steamy bathroom is a breeding ground for mold spores. Clean walls with a non-toxic cleaner and scrub off mold spots with a solution of water and bleach. Leave ventilation fans on for about 30 minutes after a bath so that steam can be directed outside.

Plant some non-allergenic plants, trees, and flowers in your yard

Avoid planting trees like maple (male), birch and ash (male) in your yard. Instead, plant dogwood, double-flowered cherry, and magnolia. Non-allergen carrying flowers include astilbe, impatiens, hosta, scabiosa, columbine, and viola.

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