Although the Oklahoma high temperatures may lead you to believe otherwise, fall is here. Fall is definitely a favorite among the team with the beautiful changing leaves and the subtle cool-off. Yet fall also brings dreaded fall allergies, especially that pesky Ragweed.  If you suffer from allergies in the fall, you may have a sense of dread welling up between protecting yourself from COVID-19 as well as all the allergens that seem to flock to you. Even though we are limited in outdoor activities, being indoors does not protect totally you from allergens. Here are a few tips on keeping areas of your home allergen free!

General Housekeeping

Remove your shoes before you enter the home! With allergens in full swing, it is important to remove your shoes before entering the home to prevent tracking them in. Not only does this prevent allergens from getting into your home but also yucky germs that could cause you to get sick. Since you can’t avoid the floors in public places such as grocery stores, taking your shoes off is vital. It is also important to wipe off puppy paws if you live in a home with pets since they are coming into direct contact with the grass and other foliage.

 

Windows

Dust and other allergens seem to congregate around windows in any home. Cleaning your blinds and curtains once a week can help eliminate some of those allergens and improve your home’s overall air quality.

When cleaning your blinds, the first step should be to dust them. Unfortunately this step can make matters worse if you have the wrong tool. Some items advertised for dusting can stir up the dust and allergens and spread them around in the air instead of removing them.The best dusting product for your blinds is going to be a microfiber cloth that not only attracts but traps the dust. After dusting your blinds, you’ll want to clean the blinds with a damp cloth thoroughly. As for your curtains, washing them can help prevent allergen build up.

Fans

Ceiling fan blades collect a lot of dust that can spread through the home and often seem to get overlooked because of their olocation. Cleaning your fans is very similar to cleaning your blinds, and should done as a weekly chore to prevent dust bunnies from peeking over the edges of the blades. Using a microfiber towel or a vacuum attachment is a great way to keep your fans dust free. For tall ceiling, a duster with an extender is the ideal way to clean your fan.

Air Filters

If you’re a new homeowner, this might be something that easily gets overlooked upon moving in. Regularly changing your air filters is not only important for your allergies but also saves you money on your energy bills. One of the most important factors in air filter replacement is whether or not there are pets in the home. If there are not pets in the home, filters should be changed every 90 days. If there are pets in the home, especially if air ducts are lower to the floor, they should be replaced every 45 days or sooner. It is also important that you vacuum the air returns on a weekly basis. Removing the dust bunnies from the outside of your air return will extend the life of your air filter!

Bedding 

Washing your bedding once a week can help you get rid of allergens and also help improve skincare. Dead skin, hair, dust, sweat and pet hair are just some of the things that can build up on your bed sheets and impede allergies. If you are someone with sensitive or acne-prone skin, washing your sheets and pillowcases could be very beneficial. Washing your face and hands before bed also removes any allergens that you may have brought into the home and can lead you to waking up with itchy eyes, which is no way to start a morning!

Decor

This one is a bit more obvious but as you transition your home decor from summer to fall, it is a good idea to thoroughly clean all of your decor that has been sitting in storage for a year before you put it on display. You should make sure and wash any rugs, blankets or pillows thoroughly. Your assortment of fall decor could probably use a good spruce so that it is fresh for your guests viewing.

Cleaning a house is never quite done it seems but these are a few of the trouble areas you could focus on to help reduce your struggles with allergens inside your home. A helpful suggestion is to choose one day of the week and make it your cleaning day. Designating a day to cleaning will help ensure that you have enough time to be thorough in cleaning your house. If your designated day happens to be on the weekend, this will allow you time to enjoy your clean home as well.  Another benefit of setting up any sort of routine is that it will benefit your mental health, especially in a new normal like we are currently adjusting to.

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