With one in four Americans suffering from allergies (at least according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology), it’s safe to say a few of you are aware that it’s ragweed season!
At this time of year, it seems appropriate to showcase some ways to keep allergens outside the house, so your home is a refuge instead of a hotspot. We hope these allergy home improvement tips keep you from sneezing into your cereal in the coming weeks:
- Caulk up openings. Holes in the floors and walls allow pollen and irritants to enter, so cover ’em up!
- Install weather-stripping around windows and doors.
- Screen in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room vents. This won’t just keep out pollen, but mice and other pests — bonus!
- Maybe swap out carpets. This is one of the pricier allergy home improvement tips, but it could be worth it if your symptoms are on the serious side. Switch your carpets for hardwood, vinyl, laminate, porcelain, or ceramic. No matter how much you vacuum, carpets tend to absorb allergens, which get kicked up when stepped on. If you must have carpet, wool is a better way to go than artificial material.
- Definitely swap out curtains. Curtains are dust and pollen magnets! Every time you move them, allergens drift out and set your allergy sufferer coughing and sputtering. Blinds are a much better choice, but if you’re simply a curtain person, make sure you get a variety that’s highly washable and do so regularly.
- Make use of furnace filters. Furnace filters that block allergies are more expensive than the standard variety, but it may be worth it if you can’t breathe in your home during allergy season. You can install these yourself without too much trouble.
- Cut down on grass. Your nice lawn may be your pride and joy, but it could also be contributing to your coughing and watery eyes. Seek ways to make your grass take up less of your yard, like using pavers to create a patio area or building a deck. You get a nice place to lounge and a reduction in pollen-spewing shrubbery.
- But don’t get rid of these plants. NASA conducted a study to find which plants were best at removing harmful substances from the air, and found that golden pothos, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm, snake plant, elephant ear philadendron, red-edged dracaena, cornstalk dracaena, weeping fig, gerbera, daisy, pot mum, and rubber tree plants were among the most effective. Plant a few of these for cleaner breathing!