You might not think you can do anything about a family member’s constant sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. After all, you can’t get rid of allergens altogether, and their sensitivities may be managed with medication.
Even though you may not be able to get rid of all allergens in your home, you can undoubtedly make small home décor and furniture changes that ease your loved one’s symptoms. Any of these following changes may be worth making for a healthier home environment for all.
HVAC Filter Upgrades
By upgrading your current HVAC filter to a MERV 13 filter, you may be able to significantly reduce how many allergens are floating through your home, landing on furniture, and making your family sick.
The role of a MERV 13 air filter is to trap small particles from bacteria, some viruses, smoke, and more. You can use these filters in your HVAC unit or furnace and replace them every 60 to 90 days to keep them as efficient as possible.
There’s no denying that rugs add a lot of character and style to a room, but they can also harbor unwanted allergens. If you have rugs in bedrooms and main living spaces, consider removing them or replacing them with short pile rugs or natural alternatives.
Change Your Lounge Suite
Lounge suites don’t last forever, and you may already be thinking about upgrading to match your latest contemporary décor. If that’s the case, put some thought into the material type.
While fabric is warm, comfortable, and stylish, it’s also porous. This means that dust and other allergens can penetrate the upholstery and require regular cleaning. Leather and faux leather can be a low maintenance and hypoallergenic alternative while also blending in seamlessly with contemporary and classic décor.
Control Your Clutter
Any small or large home can soon accumulate a lot of clutter, even with regular cleaning. To control indoor allergens, do your best to keep this clutter to a minimum. Invest in stylish storage solutions that can add a sense of order to any room while also giving dust and other allergens fewer items to cling to.
If you still feel your home is too cluttered, even after investing in storage, consider whether downsizing your possessions may be the next best step. You may even be able to make money by selling items you no longer use.
Upgrade Window Covers
While heavy drapes or curtains add a sense of style and warmth to any space, they can also be contributing to allergen sensitivities. Their porous nature means dust can cling to them, and they are also not something most people actively clean.
Change is as refreshing as a vacation, so now might be the right time to start looking at your window cover options. Blinds and shade traps harbor far fewer allergens, but you can also purchase machine-washable curtains if you prefer the warmth and comfort they bring to your home.
Keep Pets Out of Bedrooms
As tempting as it can be to invite your cat or dog onto your bed at night, it may not be doing your allergies any good. Pet dander is one of the leading causes of allergies, resulting in sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion, and more.
If it’s possible, keep them confined to the main areas of your home and invest in a pet bed they can use at night rather than your bed.
Look After Your Bed
One of the most important pieces of furniture in your home is your bed, but it’s also one of the most neglected pieces of furniture. You may wash your bedding weekly, but most homeowners would rarely consider the allergens lurking in their pillows and mattress.
Allergen covers for your pillows and mattress may be worth your while. You may also find it helpful to vacuum your mattress with an upholstery attachment to take care of as much dust and dead skin cells as possible.
Limit Soft Furnishings
Throw pillows can add a sense of style to any space, particularly living rooms and bedrooms. However, careful thought must be given to whether they could be exacerbating any allergen sensitivities that your family members might have.
If you’re adamant that throw pillows and decorative blankets are necessary for your home’s theme, be careful with your choices. Purchase faux and genuine leather cushions, which are both stylish and hypoallergenic, and get into the habit of washing decorative blankets often.
Choose the Right Vacuum Cleaner
With so many different vacuum cleaners on the market, it’s hard to know which one to choose. You might be tempted to select one based on its brand and price, but some features also stand out more than others.
Look out for models that operate with HEPA filters and anti-allergy seals. These work hard to trap allergens rather than spreading them around your home.
Rely On Your HVAC During Pollen Season
One of the most common allergy triggers is pollen, which means that millions of people are experiencing itchy eyes, runny noses, coughing, sneezing, and more each year. During the height of the pollen season, these symptoms can be even more severe.
While it might be tough to remain cooped up inside during pollen season, it can be important to limit your symptoms. Keep doors and windows closed to the elements, and rely on your HVAC with high-quality air filters to regulate the temperature and purify the air.
Consider Your Heating
There are few things more aesthetically pleasing or warming in a home than a roaring log fire. However, it might not be doing your allergies any favors. Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves can worsen respiratory allergies due to their smoke and gases.
There is no harm in keeping your fire for its contribution to your décor, but consider an alternative form of heating. According to the Asthma Foundation, infrared electric heaters are some of the best for your health.
Their heat is emitted as infrared radiation, which doesn’t contain any UVA/UVB rays. They also effectively heat a room without circulating or collecting dust. In saying that, for cost-effectiveness and allergen reduction, you can also purchase air filters for your HVAC units. The higher the air filter’s MERV rating, the more effectively it can filter out those harmful allergens.
Even the most stylish, organized home can have an impact on your health and wellbeing. If you have been having any problems with your allergies, it might be time to make some home décor and accessory changes. Any of these options above may make a world of difference.