Allergy-Proof Your Home

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Even if products such as candles and air fresheners smell good, use caution with products that give off smelly fumes--or avoid them outright. These also include aerosols, paints, perfumes, and cleaners. They may irritate your airways and make your allergies and asthma worse.

Dust frequently

Clean the hard surfaces and shiny floors in your home weekly with treated dust rags, damp mops, or damp rags. Don't use a dry cloth or a feather duster, since you'll just fling the allergens in the dust back into the air.

Decorate sparingly

Ceramic figurines, stuffed animals, wicker baskets, and dried flowers may help you express your personality, but they also collect dust. Use them as sparsely as possible.

Keep filters clean

Regularly clean or replace the filters on your furnace and air conditioners according to the manufacturers' instructions. Generally, when they're in use, you'll need to replace them (or clean them if they are the reusable type) monthly.

Weekly Allergen-proofing Checklist

Vacuum Launder your sheets and pillowcases in 130 degrees F water

Dust all flat surfaces, from tabletops to floors, with a damp cloth or mop

Wipe window shades and/or wash the curtains

Clean your kitchen, wiping the stovetop, countertop, and cupboards

Wash your indoor pets, especially cats, after discussing this with your vet

Monthly Allergen-proofing Checklist

Replace your furnace or air-conditioner filter while in use

Wash stuffed animals in 130 degrees F water. If they can't take the stress of washing, put them in a plastic bag in the freezer for a few days

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