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Consumer Reports: Stopping seasonal allergies at home

Posted at 6:20 AM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 12:57:44-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Every Spring and Fall, Melinda Montanaro suffers from allergies.

“My throat gets really itchy, my ears get itchy, my eyes get really dry and itchy," says Montanaro.

She loves keeping her windows open to let in fresh air, but that’s not all that’s coming in.

“There’s usually a layer of pollen collecting on my kitchen countertops," says Montanaro.

Whether allergens come from outside the house or in, CR says to put your appliances to use to eliminate them.

First, clear the air. Keep pollen out by closing the windows, and use your air conditioner to cool your home instead. The A/C can also cut humidity, limiting the growth of mold and dust mites. But be sure to clean the filter regularly.

Allergens can settle on the large surface of your bed. Things like dust mites feed on dead skin flakes and like to accumulate in your bedding. Wipe them out by using the sanitizing cycle on your washer which uses extra heat that can kill mites. And an extra rinse cycle can remove even more allergens.

Another broad space for allergens to gather? Floors. Use your vacuum weekly to pull dust mites, mold, pollen and animal dander out of your carpets. And be sure to choose one with a HEPA filter that traps small particles and keeps them from going back into the air.

“Emptying dust from a bag-less vacuum can release particles back into the air, so if you have a vacuum with a bin, take it outside to empty it," says Sue Booth, Consumer Reports.

And If you’re a severe seasonal allergy sufferer, instead of wall-to-wall carpeting consider covering your bare floors with washable throw rugs with rubber backing. Finally, a portable air purifier may help filter pollutants in your home. Look for ones that use a HEPA filter.

Final tip: Take your shower at night before you go to bed. That way any allergens clinging to you will go down the drain and not into your bedding.