As much as most people welcome spring after a long winter, the season can be miserable for allergy sufferers. Pollen and other common allergy triggers become prevalent again, causing unpleasant symptoms after several months of respite.
Typical Causes and Symptoms Associated with Seasonal Allergies
Tree pollen is the leading cause of allergies in the spring, while pollen released from weeds and grass cause the greatest amount of suffering in the fall. Regardless of the cause or season, allergies tend to produce similar symptoms. These include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus pressure and congestion
For people with asthma, shortness of breath can lead to the need for emergency medical treatment. Those who already have a rescue inhaler need to use it to restore normal breathing after exposure to known asthma triggers.
What can people do besides take medication and avoid known allergens? As it turns out, the windows in their home play a big role in how they fare this allergy season. Following theses tips to allergy-proof your home will make for a much more comfortable season. Enjoy relief whether you suffer from spring allergies, fall allergies, or both.
Repair Caulking Around Windows to Allergy-Proof Seals
Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, it only takes a small crack in window caulking for dust, mold spores, and pollen to enter the home. Homeowners should check the condition of their caulking at the start of each spring season and repair or replace it as necessary. Window installation experts typically recommend replacing caulking over seven years old even if it does not have obvious tears since it becomes less effective over time.
Consider Placing an Air Purifier Near Each Window
People with significant allergy symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and headaches, can find the most relief by keeping their windows closed. This is especially true in the early morning and early evening hours when pollen counts tend to be highest. Turning on the air conditioner will keep everyone comfortable. Air conditioners also contain filters that trap allergens and remove them from indoor air.
However, it is good to let fresh air into the home once in a while. Putting an air purifier with adequate HEPA filtration near each window when it is open trap the contaminants coming inside before they have a chance to trigger allergy symptoms.
Keep Windows and Window Treatments Clean
Dust in windowsills, shades, and curtains provide an ideal environment for dust mites to live and multiply. Since the windows and windowsills in a home naturally attract dust, the people living there need to make a habit to dust often. Cleaning the windows and sills weekly with a water solution containing five percent bleach is the most effective way to keep the area free from mold spores and dust mites.
Homeowners should also choose window treatments that are easy to clean and manage. Composite shutters, roller shades, and vertical blinds make especially good choices for those with seasonal allergies. Not only are these types of window treatments easy to clean, but they prevent contaminants in the air from collecting on the surface.
Those who choose traditional fabric drapes should wash them monthly in hot water to kill dust mites and remove other pollutants that cause allergy symptoms. Homeowners with shutters, shades, or blinds should clean them weekly using a vacuum cleaner with a hose and a HEPA filter inside of it.
Asthma suffers can increase their symptom relief by placing a window film over the entire circumference of their window. This solution keeps common asthma triggers out of the home while offering increased privacy and reduced glare from the sun. Wiping down the film once a week keeps it free of airborne particles that can cause symptoms to flare.
Drapes that require dry-cleaning and blinds with small slats are not good window treatment choices for people with allergies. Each type traps pollen easily and can be challenging to keep clean and dust-free.
Add a Window Screen Pollen Filter
People who deal with seasonal allergy symptoms who prefer to keep their windows open most of the time can benefit from adding a screen pollen filter to the outside of each window. The filter traps approximately 96 percent of pollen blowing in the wind before it can blow into the house. Homeowners just need to make sure that they purchase a filter that fits the size and type of their window.
The proper care and installation of windows has always been important to allergy-proof a home. For allergy sufferers, paying attention to their care can mean the difference between and enjoyable spring and a miserable one.