It’s that time of year … Allergy Season.
Some of us dread it and for good reason: 67 million people in the U.S. suffer from allergies and our abundant outdoor beauty here in the Upcountry means dealing with loads of it. Year after year the Carolinas rank as some of the worst places for allergy sufferers and if you think you escape pollen when you enter your home, then think again. Allergy symptoms are barely alleviated inside residential structures for most, but I say your home can be a refuge if you plan to keep the outdoors at bay.
Here are some questions and answers to help you reduce pollen in your home.
Q: How do I clean the yellow film off my outdoor living areas without contributing to my spring allergies?
A: Let’s back up. Did you know the yellow coating produced by pine trees is not a significant allergy trigger? It’s actually the pollens created by grasses and non-pine trees, so your first line of defense is your outdoor area. Keep grass low and discourage growth of weeds, as they are the most prolific producers of allergenic pollen.
Q: How can I keep pollen out of my home?
A: The best way is to implement simple consistent habits: wear a hat outdoors, take your shoes and clothes off at the door or mud room (if possible), put your clothes into the washer immediately and then take a shower and wash your hair. Remember, if you go to bed with pollen on your body or in your hair, you will spread the pollen in your bedroom. Building Biologists are always concerned about the bedroom first since your body is not only in healing mode while sleeping, but also more susceptible to all toxins.
Q: Are there other ways my home can help me get through the spring?
A: Regularly change your HVAC filters and use the highest MERV rating your system can handle. Clean dust from things in your home using damp cloths. Vacuum using a true HEPA filter equipped vacuum cleaner and invest in whole house or individual room air purification. And, don’t forget about your furry friend! Allergens get trapped in pet hair so be sure to bathe your pets often.