How to allergy-proof your home

Reduce allergens in your home to help avoid hay fever or asthma attacks.

Reducing indoor allergens can be complicated and time-consuming, but these tips from the Mayo Clinic are straightforward:

  • Bed and bedding – Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dustmite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 54 degrees. Remove and wash comforters. Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials.
  • Flooring – Hardwood or linoleum flooring and washable rugs are preferable to carpet. If they aren’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpet and vacuum weekly with a cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
  • Curtains and blinds – Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
  • Windows – Close windows and, if possible, rely on airconditioning during pollen season. Clean mould and condensation from window frames and sills.
  • Furnishings – Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and bedsides made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
  • Clutter – Remove items that collect dust, such as ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
  • Pets – Keep animals out of the bedroom. Bathing pets at least once a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.
  • Air filtration – Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so it directs clean air towards your head when you sleep.
  • Plants – Find a new home for potted plants or spread aquarium gravel over the dirt to help contain mould.
  • Fireplaces – Avoid using wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because smoke and gases can exacerbate respiratory allergies. Most natural gas fireplaces won’t cause this problem.
  • Stoves – Install and use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture. Most stove-top hoods simply filter cooking particulates without venting outside.
  • Sink – Wash dishes daily. Scrub the sink and faucets to remove mould and food debris.
  • Refrigerator – Wipe up excessive moisture to avoid mould growth. Discard mouldy or out-of-date food. Regularly empty and clean the dripping pan and clean or replace mouldy rubber seals around doors.
  • Cabinets and counters – Clean cabinets and countertops with detergent and water. Check under-sink cabinets for plumbing leaks.
  • Food – store in sealed containers. This includes pet food.
  • Food waste – Place garbage in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty trash daily. Keeping the kitchen free of food crumbs will help reduce the chance you will have rodents or cockroaches.