Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic to help with allergy season this year. Remember that if your old windows are not properly sealing they may be allowing your outdoor allergies inside.

  1. Bed and bedding. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Choose bedding made of synthetic materials.
  2. Flooring. Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
  3. Curtains and blinds. Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
  4. Windows. Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mold and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
  5. Furnishings. Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
  6. Clutter. Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
  7. Pets. If you can’t find a new home for your dog or cat, at least keep animals out of the bedroom. Bathing pets at least twice a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.
  8. Air filtration. Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so that it directs clean air toward your head when you sleep.
  9. Temperature and humidity. Hot, humid houses are breeding grounds for dust mites and mold. Maintain temperature at 70 F (21 C) and keep relative humidity no higher than 50 percent. Clean or replace small-particle filters in central heating and cooling systems and in room air conditioners at least once a month.
  10. Mold. Close doors and windows during warm weather and use air conditioning and dehumidifiers. Remove non-washable contaminated materials such as carpeting. Clean washable material with a solution of 5 percent chlorine bleach and wear a protective mask when cleaning away mold. Check the roof and ceilings for water leaks