Some of us are in the throes of it and some of us are just starting to experience the first twinges. For many, spring means allergy season and dealing with irritating symptoms for weeks on end. Today, we’ll let you in on our best tips for creating an allergy-proof home during pollen season and well beyond. 1. Find out what you’re allergic to. Don’t take a stab in the dark when it comes to allergies! For red, itchy eyes, sneezing, shortness of breath and other symptoms, you’ll need to consult with your physician about testing and treatment options. Not only can finding out exactly what you’re allergic to help you save significantly on medication and health care costs, it’ll let you know precisely where to start when it comes to making a more allergy-proof space for your family. 2. Allergy-proof your mattress. Dust and dust mites are a leading allergen for many individuals all year long. Dust and its mites are more likely to gather and multiply in and around your mattress, bedding and bed itself than almost anywhere else in your home. That’s because a dust mite’s favorite food happens to be skin flakes. As humans, we’re constantly shedding and regenerating microscopic skin cells. 3. Consider taking up your carpet. Carpet can harbor all sorts of allergens, including dust, pet dander and pollen. Even steam cleaning won’t always eradicate the problem, and debris can re-accumulate quickly. If you have severe allergies, you may want to consider replacing all the carpet in your home with hardwood floors. If you’d like to work your way through the house one room at a time, we recommend starting with the bedroom so you’ll be able to breathe more easily at night right away. While it’s a big project, your nose and lungs will thank you. 4. Instate a “no shoes” policy. Shoes are a surprisingly big culprit when it comes to bringing allergens into the home. Just think: one stroll around the park, followed by a stroll through your living room and you’re really playing into that whole “keep your enemies closer” thing. Even worse if you tend to spend a lot of time on the floor. To keep most of the bad stuff out of your house, place two mats, one just outside and one just inside each main entrance to your home. This way, no one has any excuse not to wipe their feet. You can also place a rack or a cubby system beside each entrance for footwear storage. Then, and most importantly, be firm on a no-shoes-in-the-house rule. 5. Make a habit of cleaning on a weekly basis. It turns out that the age-old adage, “A clean home is a happy home,” is true. Clean conditions are proven to help keep common allergens at bay, and using all-natural cleaning products can improve air quality even more. The main tasks you’ll want to focus on are keeping all floors (carpet, hardwood, tile, linoleum and rugs) swept and clean, as well as all surfaces that tend to collect dust wiped down. It also helps to cut down on clutter. Think of it this way: the more stuff you have, the more places for dust, mites, dander and pollen to settle. 6. Lower the humidity in your home and change your filters. Most allergens thrive in warm, humid conditions. Eliminating humidity can go a long way toward eliminating allergens in your home. In fact, the dryer, the better. You’ll likely need to install a household-wide dehumidifier or buy several freestanding units for your home. It’s best to keep the humidity level at between 30 and 50 percent. You should also change out your HVAC system’s filters monthly and keep your windows closed on particularly humid days. 7. Rethink your pet care strategies. If someone in your home has a severe pet allergy, you may sadly have to rethink having pets altogether. (Don’t worry, you can always volunteer at your local animal shelter!) If the allergy is mild to moderate, you can keep your furry friends around with a few adjustments. First, you’ll want to keep pets out of your home’s bedrooms as much as possible. You’ll also need to vacuum more often than if you had a pet-free home. Think every other day. Even better is to install hardwood floors. Lastly, keep pets off all furniture and bathe and brush them weekly to minimize dander. 8. Avoid toxic air fresheners. A lot of plug-in air fresheners, sprays and even candles contain harsh chemicals that can make breathing comfortably more difficult for those with allergies. To clear the air, eliminate any items in your home that are made with synthetic fragrance. For a fresh, natural way to scent your home, mix water and a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle and spray on absorbent surfaces. Call National Property Inspections Today and Buy or Sell with Confidence National Property Inspections inspectors can assess the major systems in any home and help you buy or sell with success. Call your local NPI inspector today to book an appointment.