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Managing Asthma and Allergy Triggers in the Home

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The most important step that asthma and allergy sufferers can take to minimize and potentially eliminate their symptoms is to avoid the triggers. This may not be possible outdoors or at work, but people can remove them almost entirely at home, which is where most people spend the majority of their time. The goal then should be to achieve the cleanest and healthiest air possible in our homes, particularly in the areas where we sleep.  Here are nine steps to achieving clean air, which are all based on indoor air quality (IAQ) guidelines published by the EPA.

  1. Eliminate Pollutants and Contaminants. People often unknowingly introduce airborne contaminants and pollutants into the home, such as chemical-based cleaners, personal care products and artificial air fresheners. The next time you purchase a candle to burn or a deodorizer, first consider how that item may detract from the breathe ability of the air. There may be cases where you simply can’t remove the pollutant, but there will always be ways to mitigate the effect, such as additional ventilation.

  2. Ensure Ideal Ventilation. Modern homes are constructed to be airtight, which helps with energy efficiency but hurts indoor air quality. Proper ventilation is better than just opening doors and windows because it infuses the indoor environment with fresh air in a controlled manner. Hire an HVAC professional to assess your ventilation, improve it if need be and return on a seasonal basis to service it.

  3. Clean The Indoor Air with A HEPA Air Purifier. The air filtration provided by your HVAC system alone is not enough to ensure clean air. Instead, you require filtration that’s consistent and comprehensive. Although there’s a wide range of filtration products on the market, HEPA filtration is the preferred solution because it removes more than 99.97 percent of all airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns in size. HEPA is a U.S. Department of Energy standard and employed by military facilities and hospitals throughout the world. 

  4. Manage Dust Mite Populations. Dust mites aren’t entirely avoidable, but if you limit their populations through regular cleaning, then you can often have a significant positive effect on those who suffer from asthma and allergies. You should dust extensively at least once a week and spot dust nearly every day. Wipe down counters, floors and other hard surfaces as well, and try to avoid design choices that are conducive to dust build-up.

  5.  Vacuum All Carpets Every Week. Carpets are a trouble spot, which is why hardwood floors are ideal. Vacuum at least once a week, and always after you perform a major dusting. Opt for a deluxe model that includes HEPA filtration. Most vacuums recirculate fine particles back into the room’s air, however a HEPA vacuum is able to collect those particles and ensure that they remain trapped through the disposal process.

  6.  Manage Pet Dander. Fur, feathers and pet dander exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms to the point that most sufferers choose not to have pets. If you choose to have them, then there are steps that you can take to control the situation. Establish a designated sleep area for pets, dust more frequently, make bedrooms pet-free zones and cover all vents with cheesecloth or a suitable alternative.

  7.  Keep Pollen Outdoors. Avoiding pollen can be difficult because it can enter the home through windows, doors and even vents, and if that happens frequently enough, it can undermine all your other efforts. During the warm months, use air conditioning instead of opening windows, and have your HVAC technician ensure that all ventilation systems are properly sealed and protected.

  8.  Keep Mold Out. Unlike pollen, mold can actually originate in the home. Bathrooms and even kitchens are often trouble spots due to the moisture that’s present. Keep those areas well ventilated and as dry as possible. If you have a moisture problem in the home, then invest in a dehumidifier. Be very careful when watering plants as well; many people over water, which leads to the presence of mold spores in the air.

  9. Prevent Cockroaches. Even a small population of cockroaches can significantly compromise air quality due to the amount of waste they create. Cleanliness will help to prevent them, but even clean homes can become infested. If it happens to you, then hire a professional exterminator immediately. Store-bought remedies can work, but they do so slowly and will often contaminate the air even worse than the cockroaches.


Ensuring optimal air quality can seem like a lot of work, but it only is if you approach it in an disorganized fashion. Make a schedule, and try to perform a little bit each day. If you keep at it, then you’ll never have to spend an entire day cleaning. Also, pay careful consideration to every product that enters your home, and be willing to invest in high-quality HEPA air purifier that will pay long-term dividends.

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Clean Air Plus is a veteran and family owned small business. We represent the leading manufacturers in HEPA filtration including Austin Air Standard Units, Austin Air Junior Units, IQAir, Amaircare, Oransi and Airpura. Shop online or call one of our friendly experts at 888.247.1147. We'll be happy to help you choose from our large selection of quality air purifiers.

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