Friday, June 11, 2010

How to Reduce Dust and Pet Dander Allergens in Your Home

A Guest blog by Marcy Tate

Allergy medication is an amazing innovation and helps so many people who suffer from allergies. If you are an allergy sufferer, there are things you can do help our medication work better for you, such as removing common household allergens (like dust and pet dander) from your home. The following tips are simple and budget-friendly but require time and energy to initially
implement. Keep in mind that reducing the allergens in your home is well worth the effort as it will significantly improve your quality of life. The ease of executing the following steps depends on how much time you have to implement them and the size of our home.

Keep It Clean

Dust and pet dander is one of the biggest household allergen irritants. Improving your cleaning habits and increasing the frequency of your cleaning will directly reduce allergens.

Dust like Crazy

Use dust cloths made of electrostatic material as they remove the most amount of dust. In fact, they capture almost 90% of dust-particles they come into contact with. They are also more eco-friendly compared to paper towels.

Work to De-Clutter

Clutter is a magnet for dust. Do your best to limit clutter around your house. Dust mites love piles of magazines and stuffed animals. Keep magazine piles in a covered bin. If someone in your
home has a severe dust allergy, then make your home stuffed-animal free.

Sweep It Up

Carpets should be vacuumed at least three times a week with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtered vacuum. Sweeping and mopping is equally important as pollen is often brought into a home on shoes. The more you sweep, vacuum and wash, the more allergens you’ll remove.
Additional tip: to reduce the amount of pollen entering your home, have family members leave their shoes outside on a porch or take them off upon entering the home.

Breathe Cleaner Air

Install allergen reducing ventilation and filtration systems to help you breathe cleaner air. They help reduce the amount of allergens and impurities in your home.

• Furnace filters - Use HEPA furnace filters and promptly replace as needed.

• Air Purifier – Air purifiers work to remove air impurities in a single room. The air purifier should be placed in the bedroom of the allergic person.

• Air Ducts – Dust and dirt can collect in your air ducts and add unnecessary impurities into your air. Have them inspected and cleaned by a professional about once a year.


Allergen-reducing and dust resistant bedding can significantly decrease your direct contact with dust mites. Dust mites can actually live in bedding, mattresses and pillows. Expect to spend about $100 per bed for allergen-reducing bedding. It’s an extremely worthwhile investment that you won’t regret. Once a week, wash bedding in hot water.


One of the most effective ways to reduce household allergens is to remove carpet and limit area rugs. Carpets harbor dust mites and even HEPA vacuums cannot remove all allergens.

Upholstery is a No-no

Upholstery attracts dust mites. Leather, wood, or plastic furniture do not attract nearly as much dust mites compared to fabric couches. Remove upholstered drapes and curtains and replace with washable blinds or roller shades.

Seal It Up

Keeping your door closed during peak pollen season will help limit the amount of pollen entering your home. Additionally, caulk windows and use we atherstripping to seal cracks.

Written by Marcy Tate

Marcy Tate is a home improvement blogger at Networx. She works with house cleaners learning about effective ways to reduce household allergens.

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