Allergen levels are important to pay attention to this time of year, Spring. Weather forecasts can tell us about the levels of pollen from trees, grass, and flowers, as well as mold and particulates that cause air to haze. These contribute to the suffering of those with asthma, hay fever, and other medical reactions. What can you do to keep yourself healthy? Since we have little control over our workplace environment, let alone the external world, and since we spend two-thirds of time at home, the home is the place to start.
I advise homeowners to change their furnace filters monthly. Mark it on the calendar. Intake registers that draw air in at floor level can get dirty fast, as filters proximity to the floor gather detritus that we drag in from the outside on our feet and the cuffs of our pants. Halfway through the month, flip the filter upside down to make the most of its surface area. Remember to wear disposable vinyl or latex gloves when handling a used filter. For severe allergy sufferers, wear a dust mask when changing filters.
I dust regularly with a brush such as a Swiffer that attracts and keeps dust based on the stickiness of the cloth fibers and the principle of static electric charge. This way, dust isn't simply pushed around or worse, set off to cloud up the air in your home. I use a vacuum with a HEPA filter (actually 2 filters) and a catch bag. The bag comes with an adhesive seal to trap dust in when the bag is full and needs to be changed. Vacuums like the Dyson, no doubt innovative and powerful, require the operator to clean out the dust chamber, exposing them and others in the home once again to the dust just picked up.
I counsel my clients that strong cleaners often make matters worse. One product I do not recommend is furniture polish, as this aerosol introduces unnecessary fumes and perfumes into the home that can aggravate allergies. A diluted pine solvent like Murphy's Oil Soap is a much more aggressive cleaner that leaves a beautiful finish and fresh scent. I encourage you to try reducing aromatic cleaners and cover-ups in your home, such as oil-based plug-in scents.
I hope you find some welcome ideas in this blog. Check back again!