Allergy season is going strong this year, with record pollen counts in Atlanta making plenty of people miserable. It’s a double whammy if you own a dark colored vehicle. Unless you work from home, it’s probably not very realistic to think you can go hermit-style until the yellow stuff subsides. Technically, the pollen you see in spades isn't usually the stuff making you ill; it's the smallest spores that are the biggest problem. With that said, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions. Here’s the best actions you can take to minimize your pollen exposure when at home. Stand your guard and show those procreating trees who’s boss!
- Keep those doors and windows closed!
The weather this time of year is gorgeous, so it’s only natural that you’d be inclined to pop open the windows and bask in the heavenly temperatures. Don’t do it!
- If you’re going to ignore our first bit of advice, invest in some window screen filters.
These aesthetically-challenged gizmos can help reduce the incoming particles by over 90%.
- If your AC system pulls air from outside, set it to recirculate.
AC is your best safeguard against pollen at home, so make sure it's functioning properly. Also, be sure to give the filters a good cleaning, or replace them necessary.
- Having your air duct system cleaned might not be as effective as you think.
Before you pay to have this done, read the EPA’s webpage that outlines the possible benefits and also the reasons it might be a waste of your money.
- Deposit your shoes at the front door.
Japanese culture emphasizes the distinction between the world outside the home and the one within, and that philosophy extends to leaving footwear at the door. It's also a great habit for reducing your indoor pollen count. Also, change your clothes as soon as possible upon arrival.
- Invest in appliances that’ll help you breathe better.
An air purifier (or two), while not a magic bullet, can be a useful tool for controlling airborne particles. If your vacuum has family heirloom status, give it a break and buy something with a high efficiency bags and/or a HEPA filter.
- Wash your bedding every week.
This is easiest if you use a duvet cover, but if that's not the case you may consider purchasing an allergen fighting comforter encasement.