Tips for Reducing Environmental Allergens at Home

environmental allergens

It is not uncommon for those with food allergies to also have environmental allergies and/or asthma, as well. In order to create a more allergy-friendly environment, you want to reduce the amount of environmental allergens and asthma triggers in your home.

Here are some tips for reducing environmental allergens and triggers:

  • Declutter and organize your space. It is hard to clean around significant amounts of clutter. Clutter easily becomes a magnet for common allergens like dust, mold, pollen, animal fur, dander, and food crumbs and residue.
  • Remove, replace, and/or clean bedding, pillows, carpets, rugs, curtains, stuffed animals and other fabric items on a regular basis, as they are known to house a lot of common allergens.
  • Keep windows closed and use the air conditioning to reduce the number of airborne allergens and pollen from outside during peak pollen seasons. Open windows to improve ventilation in your home pollen counts are not high.
  • Change the filter on your furnace regularly. High efficiency filters generally need to be changed about every 3 months. However, if you an older type of filter,  have pets,  or there are smokers in the house, you may need to change your filter at least each month.
  • Implement a weekly and even daily cleaning schedule to keep allergen exposure to a minimum.
  • Use dust mite covers for pillows and mattresses.
  • Choose easy to clean furnishings and solid surfaces, like wood, glass, stone, etc, and avoid upholstered furniture and carpets, as much as possible.
  • Avoid owning pets to which you are allergic or at least keep them out of bedrooms and off of beds and other furniture.
  • Avoid using coal/wood-burning fireplaces or stoves which can worsen respiratory allergies. Gas-burning fireplaces, stoves, and heaters may trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Install (and use) a vented exhaust fan over your stove to reduce cooking fumes and moisture. Don’t forget to turn it on when you’re using the stove–especially when cooking foods that can produce areosolized allergens or aeroallergens, like seafood.
  • Regularly clean your refrigerator to reduce mold, food spills, and leakage. A great time to do this is each week before you go grocery shopping.
  • Keep the floors and counters free of food crumbs and spills and take out the trash each day. This not only reduces mold and potential cross-contact with food allergens, but it also keeps insects like cockroaches (which are very allergenic) at bay.
  • Make sure you have an exhaust fan in the bathroom and clean up excess moisture right away to reduce the proliferation of mold.
  • Consider purchasing an air purifier. Just make sure it is one that does not use ozone, as they can worsen asthma symptoms.

Taking these steps will greatly reduce the amount of allergens and asthma triggers in your home. I’d love to hear what you do to keep the allergens under control in your home. Feel free to share your comments below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

Feedback & Comments:

  1. So many good tips here! I hadn’t even thought of a kitchen exhaust fan.

    And I definitely second the suggestion for an air purifier! I’ve had my Honeywell for years and it was such a great investment!

  2. So I can blame my obsession with organizing on my allergies… Lol!
    Great tips and very helpful Tiffany. And, I can third the suggestion for the air purifier that definitely helped quite a bit.

  3. You can also regularly clean your carpets. That way, you can get rid of all of the dust and debris that gets trapped in there. Plus, weekly vacuuming’s would be a good idea as well. Then you can keep as much dust out of the home as possible.

    • Thanks, Kendall! Yes, keeping your floors as clean as possible is a must, especially with carpets. It’s a bit more difficult with carpet because they just naturally harbor more dust, debris, and chemicals. I also recommend steam cleaning your carpet (versus cleaning with chemicals, deodorizers, and added stain repellents).

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