Allergen Cleaning: Are You Allergic To Your Home?
Imagine you are looking out the window on a bright sunny day. Do you see those tiny airborne particles of dust floating around? Have you ever wondered exactly what’s on them? Of course, if you have allergies the answer may already seem obvious to you. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases there are about 50 million people that suffer with some type of allergy.
The dirt on dust.
Indoor dust is composed of tiny particles of; dust mites as well as their enzymes, pet dander, mold spores, cockroach allergens, pollen, skin cells, coal dust, smoke, and many other materials that the local environment is composed of. As this house dust floats around in the air, you breathe it in the allergens. It will get trapped by the mucus membranes in the sinus cavities. If you have allergies, your immune system will cause an inflammatory response to fight the foreign bodies.
The immune response is a complex process. It is the body’s way of protecting itself from what it considers “foreign invaders”. Chemicals called IgE antibodies cause the release of histamines. The histamines produce the symptoms that we have all experienced at some point in time such as: stuffy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, congestion, itching and skin rashes. Furthermore, these allergic reactions can trigger or cause asthma attacks in people who don’t already have them
How to clean for allergies
Removing the allergens from your home is the first step in reducing the symptoms. Removing the animal dander, dust mites, mold spores, pollen and dust will reduce the number of allergy or asthma attacks. Keeping surfaces and floors clean will help prevent the dust particles and all of the other allergens, from becoming airborne. This will help you and your family breathe better.
Hiring a professional cleaning service is the easiest way to keep your home dust free. For homes with pets and allergy sufferers living in the same household, a weekly cleaning schedule is the best option. Bi-weekly cleanings are good if there are no pets in the home but there are still people with allergies. We also understand that our Long Island cleaning service may not be in your budget. We would be happy to provide you with some helpful tips on how to keep a healthy air quality in your home.
Vacuum floors at least once a week: This is an important part of your cleaning routine since the floor is the single largest surface area in the home and allergens will naturally settle here. A thorough weekly vacuuming will significantly reduce the dust.
Wipe down surfaces weekly: Keeping the surfaces that collect dust clean will prevent them from going airborne. Use a damp microfiber cloth when you dust. They trap the particles deep in the cloth. A paper towel or cotton cloth really just pushes the dust around.
Use HEPA filters in your vacuum and HVAC system: HEPA filtration is capable of taking particles larger than .3 microns off of surfaces and out of the air. The only things that will pass through these filters that would affect air quality are, smoke, viruses and bacteria.
Change the filters in your HVAC system often: Overloaded filters don’t remove dust from the air, they only make your system work harder. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule about how often to change them. The only rule is, change them when they are dirty. Local air quality, pets, number of occupants and other factors may reduce the useful lifetime of the filters, so check them often.
Wash bed linens weekly and blankets/comforters monthly: The best way to remove dust mites and their allergens is to wash bedding in the hottest water possible. Dust mites love warm humid places. Your bed is the perfect environment for them.
Recycle indoor air as often as possible: While this may seem counter intuitive, studies show that the indoor air is most often “dirtier” that the outdoor air. Open windows long enough to recycle the indoor air once a week.
Don’t forget the furniture: Vacuum cloth covered furniture with the floors. Wipe down leather furniture with a damp microfiber.
Check potted plants for moldy soil: Mold thrives in damp organic material. What better place to live than in a potted house plant? Check the soil when you water. Scrape off any moldy soil and replace with fresh potting soil.
Keep the house dry: Keep an eye out for leaky windows, doors or plumbing fixtures. Even slow leaks can keep the humidity on surfaces at 70% or higher which creates the perfect environment for mold growth.
Clean up food spills immediately: Cockroaches love to eat crumbs. Try to keep food from getting under the appliances like the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, microwave and kitchen sink. Cleaning underneath these areas can be a chore but it’s a good idea to add it to your spring cleaning list.