If you’ve already gotten the sniffles this fall, it might not be a cold that’s bothering you. Many people think that allergies are an exclusively spring-time malady, but as people spend more and more time indoors as the weather turns chillier, what’s in the home can also cause an allergy flareup.
According to The Huffington Post, indoor air quality can actually be worse than outdoor air quality, especially when there is no flow of fresh air and a number of soft surfaces for dust, dirt, and dust mites to make a home in. One of the most bothersome of these for allergy sufferers are dust mites, which, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune, can cause sinus symptoms and coughing, and can even cause asthma and eczema in children. More than 2,000 dust mites can live in a single ounce of carpet dust.
It might seem plausible that regular vacuuming will keep the dust mites at bay, but according to The Huffington Post, vacuuming “doesn’t count” as carpet cleaning — and doing it probably isn’t making your home as clean and allergen-free as you think.
“Indoor air quality can be eight to ten times worse than outdoor air quality, if you don’t clean your flooring, clean your drapes and let air inside regularly,” allergy-free housekeeping specialist Robin Wilson told The Huffington Post.
The good news is that there are measures that people can take to help free their homes from allergens and to improve the air quality. Having carpets steam cleaned on a regular basis — experts recommend every 12 to 18 months — is pretty much the only way to get deeply set dust out of a carpet. Additionally, one of the stipulations of many carpet warranties is that the carpet be professionally cleaned.
Don’t put your vacuum away just yet, however; it’s also important to vacuum regularly between steam cleanings and to vacuum slowly, since vibrations from the vacuum will draw out more dust and dirt. Picking the right type of carpeting is also important for reducing the amount of allergens in the home, since those with longer carpet fibers will attract and hold more dirt and dust.
According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, cleaning the air in a home is also an important measure to take in reducing the amount of allergens in it and promoting good air quality. Allergy sufferers should also do things like keep pets out of bedrooms, avoid smoking in the house, and install air filters.