For many allergy sufferers, mid-summer offers a nice reprieve from symptoms that are more prominent in the spring and fall. Most plants have slowed down their pollen release by mid-summer, and others won't start releasing pollen until fall. However, if you really want to stay comfortable and allergy-free during the summer, you'll need to clean up your home to remove traces of pollen that are lingering from the spring. Here are four specific cleaning tasks to tackle.
Clean the Carpet
Carpets love to hold onto allergens like pollen. Vacuuming thoroughly is a good start, but to really get rid of pollen that has worked its way deep into fibers, you need to fully clean the carpet. You can hire a professional like Chem-dry to come do this, or you can rent a carpet shampooer and tackle the project yourself. Make sure you turn on fans to dry the carpet out quickly afterwards. Avoid opening the windows as you may let in a few lingering traces of pollen and recontaminate your home.
Change Your Air Filter
Pull the air filter out of your air conditioning system, and replace it with a new one. The new filter will do a good job of trapping any pollen that's floating through the air in your home, allowing you to breathe more easily. For best results, choose a HEPA air filter, as this variety is designed to better capture small particles like mold spores and pollen.
Wash the Curtains
Whenever you open your windows, pollen likely accumulates on the curtains. And if you're like most homeowners, you don't launder your curtains as often as you should. This is the perfect time to do so! Some curtains need to be dry cleaned, but most modern ones can be washed at home on the gentle cycle. Dry them out completely before you hang them up so they don't just attract more allergen particles.
Clean Your Rugs
If you ever wear your shoes into your home, even if you leave them on the entryway mat, you track pollen into the home and onto that mat. Take time now to clean your rugs and especially any mats in the entryway. At the very least, go over the rugs with a vacuum cleaner. Using a carpet shampooer or having the rugs professionally cleaned is even better.
If you take some time in the middle of summer to follow this cleaning routine, your allergy symptoms should subside.