6 Spring-Cleaning Secrets for Allergy Sufferers: Reducing Allergens at Home

Spring-cleaning season and allergy season coincide for many folks—call it a crazy coincidence, but it actually works out. Those spring-cleaning chores you already had on your list will help reduce allergens at home, too.
So if that springtime burst of pollen leaves you sneezing, wheezing, and wiping your nose well into summer, know that you can help ease your suffering. In addition to dosing yourself with weapons-grade antihistamines, there are things you can do around the house to lower your indoor pollen count. Here are six spring-cleaning tips to alleviate allergies, too.
1. Get an air purifier
"One way to reduce allergies indoors is with a HEPA air purifier. These will eliminate 99% of allergens in the air inside your home," says Dr. Christopher Thompson, a surgeon specializing in allergies at the Texan Allergy & Sinus Center.
Already have an air purifier? Remember to change or clean the filters regularly—most lifetime HEPA filters need to be cleaned every three to six months, and the charcoal prefilter needs to be changed every six. During peak pollen times, it doesn't hurt to err on the side of more frequent cleaning. And be sure to clean the filter outside rather than inside your home.
And once you get all that clean air in your house, you want to keep it that way. Keep doors and windows closed and everything else sealed up tight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the balmy breezes after the trees are done spewing pollen.
2. Dust, vacuum, and mop oft-overlooked places
"Regular cleaning like vacuuming and mopping is a must to get rid of pollen, but don't forget to clean curtains and blinds," says Thompson. "Dust and pollen collect here and often get overlooked."
Other frequently forgotten spots? Windowsills, the tops of door frames, picture frames, lamp shades, light fixtures, and the tops of upper cabinets and bookshelves. And be sure to empty the pollen-filled vacuum directly into the outside trash—don't negate all of that hard work in a cloud of dust and pollen indoors.

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