When you think allergies, you think of spring, but autumn can be just as bad or worse for those that suffer. Mold-causing wet weather and late-blooming plants like ragweed mean that allergens are still lurking. Plus, indoor triggers like dust and pet dander may have collected in your home during summer.
One way to cut back on allergen exposure is to do a house cleaning. These strategies can help keep your home as comfortable as possible amid the fall allergy season.
Clear the Air
If you have central heating and cooling, you’ll want to wipe down the vents and change the air filter. Dust mites, mold spores, and pollen can collect in these systems. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends choosing an air filter with a MERV rating of 11 to 13 and changing it every three months. You can also improve the air quality in rooms you spend the most time by using an air purifier.
Keep Allergens Outside
Regularly check pollen counts in your area using the local news, smartphone weather apps, or Pollen.com. When these counts are high, avoid opening your doors or windows. Pets are a source of dander and can track other allergens indoors, so don’t forget to bathe them often.
Root Out Mold
Wet weather is typical in fall, and mold can develop in and around your house. Go room to room, focusing on bathrooms, laundry areas, and your kitchen to check walls for signs of mold or dampness. Mildew from condensation can develop on window panes, so you’ll want to clean them with a disinfectant containing bleach. Also, examine the perimeter of your home for mold hot spots and clear away leaf piles and dying vegetation. To prevent a flare-up or symptoms, wear a mask when you’re raking and change your clothes when you head back inside!
Declutter, Dust & Wash
A full house cleaning is just as necessary in fall as it is in spring. As you’re switching out summer items for cool-weather things, launder anything that can be washed in the washing machine. This can include window treatments, bed linens, and throw pillows. Dust surfaces with a wet cloth and use your vacuum in hard-to-reach areas. Putting away general clutter (papers, shoes, boxes) can help make cleaning easier and prevent dust from accumulating.