Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Home Allergy-Free This Fall

The First Heat – Dust mites, mold and other allergens in a home’s vents can be activated when people turn on the heat the first time in the fall.  Before running the heat, get your air ducts cleaned and change the filter.  The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests cleaning air ducts every 3-5 years.  It is recommended to use filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating between 8 and 10 and a thickness of one inch.

Keep the Outdoors Out – When coming inside, it is important to remove shoes and wipe down pets to avoid tracking in allergens.  Wear a mask when raking leaves to avoid breathing mold spores and change clothes after doing yard work to prevent the spread of pollen around the house.  Limit your pets’ time outside and wipe them down to remove pollen when they come indoors.

Purify the Air – Most air purifiers have HEPA filters that remove up to 99 percent of airborne allergens, including pollen, dust and pet dander and mold spores.  A mid-priced model can cost $50-125, for a room-sized system.  Place it in your bedroom, where you spend most of your time and can result in better sleep as well.

Close the windows – Although it may be tempting to open the window to let in some cool, “fresh” fall air, you are also inviting allergens into your home.  Pollen counts are typically the highest in the mid-morning through late afternoon.

Halt the Humidity – Growth of mold indoors comes in damp areas such as basements and bathrooms.  Use a dehumidifier in to keep these areas dry and the humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.  Mold grows best at humidity levels of 60 percent or higher.

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