Allergy Prevention at Home

by Ashley Wirgau

While the long winter brings its share of snowflakes and stomach bugs, spring calls forward sunshine and, for some of us, sneezes. Those lost rays of sunshine are more than welcomed come April, but the allergy season that follows – not so much.

This year, as we watch the final snowbanks slowly melt into springtime puddles, let’s use these last weeks of winter to prepare us for the beautiful blooms and clouds of pollen. Follow this quick list of at-home to-do’s to get ready for April. What’s that saying again? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of dirty Kleenex?

1. Blow out those air ducts

One of the best ways to prep your home for the sneezy season is to clean out those dusty air ducts. The amount of dirt and debris that settles in these spaces is shocking, and anyone with the luxury of central air will benefit from a professional cleaning before running their system come summer. Depending on the size of your home and number of vents, pricing is typically a few hundred dollars - much less than the doctor bills when your nose becomes a leaky faucet and your eyes have crusted over from an onslaught of allergens.

2. Spring cleaning is non-negotiable

You can put off a lot of things this spring – organizing your closet, purging all those items that don’t bring you joy, planting the garden you’ve always been meaning to grow, losing that last 10 pounds – but whatever you do (or don’t do) do not forego the springtime deep clean. Grab your bucket of bleach and a toothbrush and get into those corners. Dust, mold and mildew takes root in hidden pockets around your home and without a routine cleaning each year, your health can take a big hit. Unsure where to begin? Use this handy check list from our Spring Cleaning blog post to get started.

Download our home cleaning guide

3. Get your pet on a grooming schedule

Any fur baby that spends time outside is bound to bring the outside in. Dirt, pollen, spores and seeds collect on their cuddly bodies and then get sprinkled all over your home. Get yourself ready this year by contacting your pet salon and set a spring and summer schedule for regular bathing and grooming. For a cheaper option, visit the pet store to pick up a bottle of anti-allergen shampoo and a good brush - then hold yourself accountable and stick to the weekly scrub down.

4. Rethink what you plant

Many of us enjoy having plants in and around our homes. These live elements bring beauty and a breath of fresh air into our spaces, but not all plants are created equal. This season, before you get swept away by the colorful foliage lining the local greenhouses, do a little research on which plants help and which ones hurt to make sure that breath of fresh air doesn’t become one giant sneeze. There are even some plants that help purify the air, adding another layer of relief for allergy-sufferers.

 5. Consider investing in an air purifier

Depending on the size of your living space, a purifier might be exactly what you need to decrease the allergens in your home. Available in both larger and desktop sizes, there are options to fit nearly any space. These handy devices range greatly in effectiveness and price, so scour the reviews before making your final choice.

6. Stock the medicine cabinet

Unfortunately, no matter how well you try to prepare the inside of your home for allergy season, at some point, you will have to venture outside. Make sure the arsenal is prepped for your departure with all the necessities – allergy pills, saline spray, eye drops and those super-soft, aloe-infused tissues. Even with the best of intentions and prevention measures, allergy-proofing your existence is impossible. Make the inevitable a little less painful by preparing the bathroom cupboard should pollen and other irritants find their way to you.

With winter winding down, we are chomping at the bit to get outside and dig into spring. For those of us inclined to allergies, though, the grass is not always greener, especially when it’s sending us into sinus fits. Follow this simple list of allergy-prevention tips to make sure the arrival of April is everything we’ve been waiting for - goodness knows we’ve been waiting a while.

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