Article originally sourced from The Weather Channel
"Spring allergy season is in full bloom, and for the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies each year, symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sneezing and red, itchy eyes could take hold at any moment. But indoors, the real battle awaits.
Inside the home are more areas of risk than you may think. But you can fight back, because a low-allergen home is a happy home.
Here are our small tips for keeping allergens at bay in your humble abode this spring.
1. Get Rid Of Clutter
Spring cleaning and allergy relief actually go hand-in-hand. Channel your inner interior decorator this spring and declutter your living spaces. According to the Mayo Clinic, consolidating items that collect dust, like knick-knacks, ornaments, books and magazines can do wonders for your allergies. Also, if you’re due for a new sofa, go leather, or a material that doesn’t collect dust like upholstery.
2. Stop Hang Drying Laundry Outside
Though letting laundry dry naturally on a line outdoors may conserve energy, doing so will stir up allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic, pollen will stick to clothing and especially sheets and towels while they dry. And they’ll stick well since wetness is a natural adhesive. Instead of leading to a situation where drying off after a shower leads to an instant sneezing fit, dry your clothes indoors. And if you’re considering wearing items sitting in storage all winter, give them a wash too -- dust and mold could have built up on them.
3. Get Those Carpets Cleaned
According to the American College of Asthma, Allergies and Immunology, dust mites can live deep inside carpeting. While ditching those carpets for flooring is a big ask, getting your carpets professionally cleaned once every spring will be a big help. Vacuuming them yourselves is a help, but it will not fully get rid of all lingering dust mites, while a professional can.
4. Prepare Your A/C
Spring means it’s almost A/C-blasting season, so you should make sure your gear is up to snuff. Get your air conditioner serviced professionally, and if possible, install a filter with an American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of at least 8. That means fewer dust particles can pass through it. Once that’s ready to go, rely on it instead of opening windows, allowing pollen to enter.
5. Get a HEPA Filter
And speaking of air purification, a HEPA (High Energy Particulate Air) filter can remove 99.97% of dust, pollen, smoke, odor, mold spores, and pet dander in the air. They are discrete, inexpensive and can lead to a healthier home environment.
6. Don’t Forget The Kitchen and Bathroom
Where there’s moisture, there’s mold. So be sure to constantly wipe surfaces like above the fridge and under the sink to get rid of any lingering moisture and potential mold breeding grounds. This rings especially true in the warmer months, as mold grows faster in warm weather. And wipe hard-to-reach surfaces for dust too."