Reduce Indoor Allergens During Winter
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, January 21, 2011
Are you noticing that lately your home seems to get dirty especially quickly? This is because most of us spend more time indoors in the winter. This is certainly the case at our house. Pet hair accumulates faster than ever, especially since our dog and two cats are sporting their fluffier winter coats. And while animal fur is plainly visible, less apparent allergens like dust also accumulate more quickly because of the increased amount of time we spend inside. Reduce indoor allergens during winter by following these tips.

In addition to creating more allergens because we're indoors more, we are also more affected by them because we are more exposed to them; not only are we in frequent contact with this increased concentration of allergens, but most of our homes are also shut up against the cold weather and don't have the benefit of fresh air circulating.

So what's an allergy sufferer to do? Here's a list of practical points to reduce indoor allergens during the wintertime, when they are at their worst:

Crank up those air purifiers. The combination of more time spent indoors and less circulation to bring in fresh air means that your home air needs purification more than ever. Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filtration rid the air that you breathe from pet dander, dust mite allergen, mold spores, and more. With your air purifier working over-time, be sure to check its filters regularly and join our Clean Air Club to ensure that your unit is running at peak performance.

Change your furnace filter regularly. When allergens accumulate in the home, furnace filters work extra hard to filter the air of debris. In addition, with the heat on almost constantly in many parts of the country, your furnace filter is working continuously. Changing your filter every three months is standard, but check it more frequently during the winter to make sure it isn't overloaded.

Vacuum more often. It's simple: If your house gets dirty faster, you have vacuum more frequently. Be sure to vacuum "top to bottom" and run the vacuum cleaner over your carpet slowly to ensure that you pick up the most allergens and dirt possible. Furthermore, using HEPA vacuum cleaners ensures that the air coming out of the vacuum is cleaner that the air that went in. For more on how to vacuum most effectively, see How to Vacuum Your Home to Reduce Allergens.

Minimize the introduction of new allergens. Using traditional cleaning products full of chemicals, home fragrance items such as sprays or most candles, or a wood burning stove impacts your indoor air tremendously. Instead, use natural cleaning products, safe odor-eliminating solutions like the Tub O' Carbon, and avoid wood-burning fires in the home, including in your fireplace. To read more on this topic, see Wood Burning Fireplaces and Air Pollution.

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