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11 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Home, sweet, home may be full of sneezes and sniffles if you don’t take some precautions during spring allergy season. Here are 11 surefire solutions to keep allergies at bay.

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1. Go with the Flow

Be sure that your house is well ventilated, including the under-floor area.

When pollen season kicks up, be sure to shut the windows and turn on the air conditioning to clean, cool and dry the air.

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2. Monitor Humidity

High humidity encourages the growth of moulds and can attract cockroaches. The best humidity levels for a house is 40 to 50 per cent. Lower isn’t better – a dry house poses health challenges as well.

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3. Stay in During Peak Allergy Hours

Limit outdoor excursions when pollen and mould counts are high. Peak pollen times usually fall between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Avoid long periods outdoors on windy days, too, when dust, mould and pollen are blowing around.

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4. Immediately Hop in the Shower

Shower, wash your hair and change your clothing (including shoes) after being outside. Allergens can easily collect on your skin, hair and clothing. The allergens are then transferred to your face, hands and pillowcase.

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5. Garden Carefully

Have trees and bushes pruned regularly to cut down on vegetation near doors and windows. Don’t use leaf blowers. They spurt mould into the air at full force, which can then enter the house. Only plant trees and shrubs that produce small amounts of pollen.

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6. Keep Indoor Plants Dry

Wet soil encourages mould growth. Top indoor pots with small pebbles or stones to help prevent mould growth.

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7. Encase the Beds

Cover the mattress, box spring and pillows with allergen-proof covers to keep dust mites in check.

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8. Choose Feathers

Research from the University of Manchester in Great Britain found that synthetic fibre and foam pillows contain more dust mites and pet dander than feather-filled pillows. The densely woven covers designed to keep the feathers in also help to keep allergens out.

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9. Dust Less Often

Leaving an occasional dust bunny under the bed could be a wise move. Doctors at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado say that a molecule called endotoxin, found in ordinary house dust, appears to protect children against allergy and asthma.

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10. Roll Up the Rugs

Dust mites can’t live on bare wood. If you must have carpeting, vacuum often.

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11. Bag Stuffed Animals

They may be cute, but they’re filled with dust mites. Rid the mites from your home by sealing the stuffed animals in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer for a day or two.

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