If you suffer from inhaled allergies or other sinus or breathing problems, you may already know that keeping the air in your home as clean as possible is important. You might think that if you get an excellent air purifier, you’re all set. It’s true that an air purifier can definitely remove most of the pollutants from the air, but there are some things you can do to keep your air cleaner on the front end, before it goes through a purifier.
Keep your home smoke free
Cigarette and cigar smoke are well known to cause breathing difficulties in many individuals. In addition, smoke, whether firsthand or secondhand, can irritate nasal passages and sinuses, leading to upper respiratory symptoms.
In addition to cigarette and cigar smoke, you should also avoid wood-burning fireplaces. Even though most of the smoke, soot, and carbon are directed up through the chimney, some particulate matter will still make its way into your home. An air purifier can remove pollutants and odors caused by smoking or wood burning, but not until you’ve spent at least time breathing them in.
Control pet allergens and dust mites
Pet dander is one of the most common causes of allergy symptoms. Controlling pet dander requires diligence on your part. Regular vacuuming is key. In addition to your regular whole-home vacuuming routine, consider getting a handheld cleaner so that you can easily clean your pet’s favorite sleeping spots on a daily, or near-daily, basis. Even the best air purifiers can’t remove allergens from surfaces.
Controlling dust mites is a lot easier if you have a mattress cover as well as pillow covers. Just remember to wash the covers and your sheets in hot water at least once a week for ultimate dust-mite control.
Avoid chemicals whenever possible
The chemicals found in many cleaners can irritate airways, nasal passages, and sinuses. Avoiding them when you can could make a bigger difference than you think. Consider using all-natural cleaners, like a mix of vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. Such a mixture is cheaper than commercial cleaners, at least as effective across a multitude of surfaces, and highly unlikely to cause any breathing issues or otherwise induce allergic responses. You can find a number of recipes for effective DIY laundry detergents, too.
Fight mold and mildew
Making sure that showers and tubs stay mold and mildew free can help control allergy and breathing symptoms. Giving showers and tubs a chance to dry out thoroughly between uses is helpful, but you can use a cleaner such as the one mentioned above to keep mold and mildew from growing if your shower just stays too busy to dry out. Also, be sure to keep an eye on shower curtains and liners, as wet fabric folded over on itself is a great place for mold and mildew to thrive.
While the above tips don’t represent a complete list of steps you can take to improve the quality of your air, they are definitely a good start and cover the most common causes of airway irritation found in many homes.