These household hacks can help 'allergy-proof' your home
Forecasted record high temps across the country will have Aussie homeowners sneezing and wheezing this wet season.
Whether it's dust, pet hair, pollen or mould, allergies are pretty common in Australia and impact around 20 per cent of people at some time in their lives.
While manifesting as a simple runny nose or itchy red eyes for many, allergies can also play a major role in the cause and persistence of more serious conditions such as eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis.
With this year's sweltering wet season well and truly upon us, the increased humidity along the country's coastlines is only set to aggravate the allergens around your home.
So, if you don't want to spend the summer on a steady diet of anti-histamines, here are some household hacks you can use to 'allergy-proof' your home.
Choose the right vacuum cleaner
For people with asthma, allergen particles in the air can make breathing severely difficult (insert 'it ain't easy being wheezy' joke here). If you want to put away the puffer this summer, consider investing in a vacuum cleaner equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.
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These filters, capable of capturing tiny allergens such as spores, pollen, and bacteria, are crucial for maintaining a clean, allergen-free home. Opt for a vacuum cleaner with a washable HEPA filter to reduce costs and enhance allergen filtration.
For allergy sufferers, choose a 'quiet' vacuum cleaner for frequent cleaning sessions. Additionally, selecting a bagless vacuum cleaner provides a low-maintenance option, saving both time and benefiting the environment.
Minimise dust traps
Bookcases and open storage cupboards are notorious for being dust traps in homes. To reduce dust accumulation, try storing books in cabinets with doors and limit the use of open storage.
Carpets also contribute significantly to dust-related allergies, so consider opting for hardwood or easy-to-clean laminate flooring. If you prefer carpets, invest in vacuum cleaners with turbo brushes for effective dust removal, or opt for low-pile rugs that are less prone to trapping allergens.
Combat mould in damp areas
More humidity means more moisture, which means more mould. Regularly inspect cracks and sealant areas around sinks and tubs for mould formation, especially in wet places like your kitchen or bathroom.
Thoroughly scrub and properly dry these mouldy areas to prevent the fungus from growing back. You can also eliminate stagnant water sources and consider installing dehumidifiers in damp areas to deter mould and mildew.
Establish a no-shoes policy
Shoes are largely responsible for introducing outdoor dust and allergens into your home, complicating the cleaning process. Try encouraging family members to switch into some fluffy Christmas slippers this summer by placing a shoe rack near the main entrance.
Choose allergy-friendly furniture
Select furniture made from easy-to-clean materials like leather or pleather to reduce dust accumulation. For fabric sofas, vacuum them monthly using specialised upholstery brushes to maintain cleanliness without causing damage. Choose window treatments like venetian blinds or lightweight, washable materials instead of heavy drapes.
Control pets and pollen
Pet dander and pollen are two of the most common allergens for Aussies. If you're still in the process of considering a pet, undergo allergy testing beforehand. For those of you with pets roaming around the home, minimise the animals' access to bedrooms and regularly groom them to prevent breathing difficulties.
Green thumbs should keep plants outdoors or opt for artificial plants, terrariums, or hydroponic gardening for an allergy-free experience.
Sunlight is a great natural deterrent to allergens on your sheets and clothing. Whenever possible, sun-dry your laundry to benefit from the disinfecting properties of UV rays. In cases where sunning is impractical, try using a steaming iron to disinfect sheets and clothing.
Washing clothes in hot water and storing seasonal items appropriately also minimises dust in your living space.