Are You Allergic to Your Home?
Well it looks like the weather has been strange everywhere in the country lately. Rain and flooding in the Southeast, snow in the Midwest and Southwest (Arizona – what?), and very little snow in some of the North. With all the oddities, there is one thing that the weather will probably not have much effect on: allergies.
Allergies can be your worst nightmare; Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes. It can make you look like you’ve just seen one of those movies where the dog dies – don’t get me started. Anyway, if you’re like me, you do everything you can to control your allergies from taking over. I don’t like to take medications so I look for alternative ways to help fight the dust, pollen, and whatever else is floating around.
There are plenty of things you can do in your home to reduce allergens and help ease the pain of allergies.
- Have your HVAC cleaned and serviced
This should be done at least twice a year for the most effectiveness. Not only can this help your indoor air quality but it can reduce the need for costly repairs by catching potential issues before they go to far and need replacing
- Change your air filters
This is one of the simplest things to do. I have heard from several HVAC specialists that the best thing to do is buy the cheap filters (not the allergy reducing ones) and change them every 30 days.
- Get your air ducts and lines cleaned
If you’ve never had it done, you might be surprised what comes out. Yuck! This is especially true if you have a newly constructed/renovated home or have construction going on nearby.
- Go into your crawlspace
I know it’s not the most fun, however, a lot of household issues start in the crawl space and a lot of homeowners don’t know until it’s too late. Check for moisture, standing water, pests, critters, and mold growth.
- Check for mold
On the topic of mold, mold can be all over your home. Bathrooms are notorious – use your exhaust fan. Kitchen sinks – don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink and clean out the sink after usage. Refrigerators – ditch outdated food even if you don’t see mold, it may be there.
- Purchase a dehumidifier
This can be an easy remedy for a lot of the elevated moisture in your home.
- Remove rugs/carpet
It may not be possible to get rid of wall to wall carpeting but throw rugs can be a breeding ground for dirt and allergens. Get rid of them altogether or at least vacuum them frequently and get them cleaned regularly.
- Bathe pets frequently
I love animals and I am not a proponent of getting rid of the allergy-causing pet! I do, however, recommend bathing them regularly and even giving them haircuts that will be easier to maintain and keep clean during those high-allergy seasons.
- Proper ventilation
You may be surprised at how many bathroom, kitchen, and laundry exhaust fans are not vented to the outside. If they are vented to the attic, basement, crawlspace, or into the room, all the moisture, dust, and other particles are being recirculated in your home and possibly causing more issues than if you didn’t use the fan at all.
- Declutter and clean
Get rid of junk laying around that just collects dust and hides possible infectors. Clean every surface and everything on every surface. Be careful what you clean with, too. Some cleaners are harsh and can cause an allergy attack just from the smell. A simple mixture of alcohol and water works great and kills a lot. You’ve heard the saying “Spring cleaning.” This is why. It will make you feel better in so many ways.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.