Dust is a common allergy trigger in our homes, but it can be difficult to manage because you don’t need to see dust for it to be present. Cleaning with a wet cloth is a good place to start but try adding these simple tasks to your routine.
Dust will often accumulate in hard-to-see areas, such as carpeting and furniture, so vacuuming regularly will help keep your allergies under control. You should also clean around large appliances, particularly the refrigerator vent and dryer exhaust, as dust buildup causes these appliances to work harder and therefore use more energy. Vacuuming these areas at least every few months can help you save money on your energy bill.
If dust builds up in your furnace’s airflow, it can be spread around your home. To prevent this, you should replace your air filter every three months – or more often if you have pets or find your home attracts dust – and a professional should perform maintenance once a year. Not only will this help you stay allergy-free, it will also ensure your furnace is running efficiently, which can help to prolong its life cycle and save you money on energy costs.
Sleeping in a dusty room is bound to trigger allergies for your day ahead. Beyond routine cleaning, one way to eliminate dust is to wash your sheets in hot water regularly. Dust mites primarily live in bedding but washing sheets at 130°F (54.44°C) will kill them, giving you a dust-free place to sleep. To avoid increased energy costs, try doing your laundry during off-peak hours. These vary by season but are typically between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and all weekend.
Exposure to mould spores can trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Humidity and condensation in your home are the most common causes of mould buildup. Thankfully, these three tips will help you better manage the temperature and prevent mould from aggravating your allergies.
As the temperature gets warmer, an air conditioner can keep you cool and reduce humidity – and therefore mould growth. To ensure your air conditioner is operating effectively, it must be maintained properly. Have a licensed contractor perform regular maintenance on your air conditioner to clean condenser coils and ensure it is running smoothly and efficiently.
An air-source heat pump is another effective way to control temperature and humidity in your home if it’s heated electrically. Air-source heat pumps use heat exchangers to draw outside air in or out of your home, depending on the season. In warmer months, the cooling cycle provides dehumidification, so you don't need to incur the additional energy costs of running a dehumidifier. Reduce heating costs up to 50 per cent and get the best of both worlds with the additional benefit of air conditioning.
Turning the heat up and down constantly to get the temperature just right in your home can produce condensation and potentially lead to mould. To deal with this issue, try installing a smart thermostat, which will learn your schedule and preferences and automatically adjust your home’s temperature, as well as provide maintenance alerts.
Even when windows are shut, dust, pollen and mould spores can enter your home if there are small cracks in the surrounding materials. Caulking around windows generally wears away over time and this, along with small gaps around door frames, is a common cause of outside air coming in. To help prevent unwanted allergens drifting in and to keep your windows and doors energy efficient, install or replace weatherstripping on a regular basis.