While our homes are supposed to be safe spaces, there are a few everyday pollutants that we need to watch out for. Check out common culprits as well as tips for purifying your space:
Dust danger. The dust we wipe off our countertops, crevices, furniture and floors is made up of mostly dead skin. If that’s not gross enough, microscopic living organisms known as dust mites live off these skin cells. Many people are allergic to dust mites, and they can even trigger an asthma attack in some. The remainder of dust is comprised of things like pet dander, rodent waste, paint particles, pollen, bacteria, viruses, plant and insect parts, heavy metals or even cigarette smoke and flame retardants.
Household products. Chemical-laden products can have a big impact on your home’s air quality. Things like household cleaners, detergents, shampoos and fabric softeners emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. While many of us try to mask bad smells by spraying an air freshener or lighting a candle, that only adds more toxins to the air you breathe.
Pet dander. Even the most ardent animal lover would admit their pet smells. Aside from the odour and the other “fun” stuff they track into the house, pets also carry dander, a common allergy trigger for most people. Fortunately, you can improve the air quality in your home, while keeping your pet.
Consider getting a connected air purifier, which can let you monitor your indoor and outdoor air quality via a smartphone app. Your best bet is the Philips Air Purifier Series 2000i, which captures 99.97 per cent of particles that pass through the filter. It’s proven to reduce allergens, odours, VOCs and even certain bacteria.
Experts also recommend cleaning your home regularly, turning the hood fan on while cooking, opening your windows a couple times of day, and limiting your use of candles and air fresheners.
4 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR FALL ALLERGY SEASON
While many people look forward to the cooler weather and changing colours, thousands of Canadians are dreading the onset of autumn allergy season.
Typically kicking in around mid-August, ragweed season can last until the first frost, causing symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, and red and swollen eyes.
While allergies are never pleasant, here’s how to prepare yourself:
Keep your windows closed. Pollen is one of the primary triggers of an allergic reaction. Because ragweed pollen is airborne, it can travel up to 400 miles from its origin. This means that even if you don’t see a ragweed plant directly in front of you, you could still be impacted. To protect yourself, try to limit outdoor activity on high pollen count days and keep your windows and doors closed. To help protect yourself further, you could get shutters for your windows to help keep pollen out. If you’re interested, you could check out shutters for your house on websites such as Shuttercraft.
Buy a connected air purifier. When you can’t open your windows, the air pollutants in your home are going to build up. To keep the air in your house clean, consider purchasing a connected air purifier. It will allow you to monitor your indoor air quality on a smartphone app, while also showing you outdoor pollution and pollen data. Your best bet is the Philips Air Purifier Series 2000i, which captures 99.97 per cent of particles that pass through the filter and is proven to reduce allergens, odours, VOCs and even certain bacteria.
Clean up when you get home. You may not see it, but if pollen is in the air, you can rest assured that it is now on your clothes. When returning home from outside, make sure to leave your shoes at the door, so you don’t track pollen in. It’s also wise to jump in the shower and throw your clothes in the wash immediately.
Vacuum and dust consistently. While nobody likes to dust or vacuum, doing so is your best shot at limiting allergy symptoms. Whether it’s a carpet, couch, nook or cranny, they’re all nesting grounds for allergens and particularly dust mites, which can be a year-round allergy trigger. You might want to check out somewhere like Bissell if you’re looking for a new piece of cleaning apparatus that can help get rid of the allergens in your home.
Late-season allergy survival guide
Allergies are often associated with springtime, but starting in August, ragweed pollen and other seasonal irritants are among the chief culprits for allergy sufferers. While you can’t control what Mother Nature stirs up outdoors, sticking to a well-rounded plan indoors can go a long way towards keeping allergens at bay, helping your family enjoy time together at home, sneeze-free.
CREATE A BARRIER. While walls and doors provide resistance to outdoor elements, you and your family bring allergens across every time you walk in from outside, as particles can stick to shoes, hair and clothing and spread. Create an additional barrier within your home by removing shoes and outerwear upon entry in a mudroom or hall closet.
OVERPOWER POLLEN. Remove symptom-inducing dirt, dust and allergens by regularly and thoroughly vacuuming your home. The right vacuum with maximum power and suction can be the ultimate anti-allergy fighter, so you can create an environment where your family can flourish. The suction power and HE Allergen Filtration of a Beam Alliance Series Central Vacuum remove allergens from the home, separating them from the air. Conventional vacuums may filter dirt and dust, but recirculate that same air back into the home.
KEEP NATURE OUTSIDE. While indoor plants can be an attractive part of your home’s ambiance, certain types are high in ragweed, including daisies, chrysanthemums and sunflowers. Avoid these top offenders and try out hypoallergenic ferns, cacti and begonias instead.
DRY IT OUT. Allergens thrive in a humid environment and moisture can even lead to mould issues. The heat and humidity in late summer can intensify the potential for an allergy outbreak. Keep windows shut and use residential air conditioning along with a dehumidifier for extra effectiveness to keep pollen and other allergens at bay.
BANISH ALLERGENS FROM BEDDING. Don’t forget the bedroom when allergen-proofing your home, as mites and pollen can build up on sheets, blankets and comforters. Wash bedding in hot water at least once a week. Protective covers for mattresses and pillows provide additional protection. As an extra step, shower and wash hair before bedtime to rinse away allergens