Five Tips for an Allergy-Free Home

An allergy sufferer offers advice on tackling household allergens.

ByABC News
September 8, 2008, 4:34 PM

— -- Tip #1: Reduce Allergen-Absorbing Surfaces

So here's the dining table, which you'll notice I don't have any tablecloth on. So it doesn't absorb any allergens and I can just give it a quick wipe clean. Then you'll notice that I have large pieces of artwork. I've learned to decorate with just a few objects, favorite pieces, and not collect a lot of clutter.

I also have some privacy blinds here. These are kept down only about 5 percent of the time. Otherwise, they're up and they're not collecting any allergens. I have no drapes in the whole house except one compromise set of drapes in the bedroom so that my husband is happy.

Tip #2: Monitor Indoor Humidity

I use a simple humidistat to check on the humidity level in the room. It is currently reading 45 percent.

Until it goes over 50 percent I don't have to worry because dust mites and mold will not grow at below 50, 55 percent.

Tip #3: Purify Indoor Air

So, this is a HEPA air purified which I actually have going 24 hours a day. It is one of the key elements to a bedroom sanctuary.

Changing the filter is really a breeze. It can be done in a matter of a seconds. The filter is just pulled out here, pushed back, and then there you go.

Tip #4: Steam-Clean Without Chemicals

I'm using a steam-cleaner. When you really want to get serious about cleaning this is the tool to use. It has about 20 different attachments. I use this attachment, actually over my bedding.

I disinfect, I sanitize, I kill every nasty little microbe that can be anywhere.

It's definitely for the slightly cleaning obsessive and also for the people who have multiple chemical sensitivities and don't like their house smelling of chemicals.

Tip #5: If You Have to Have the Cat ...

So I have a simple theory -- that's to keep the outdoor allergens out where they belong, to keep the indoor allergens as low as possible, so I'm only left with the cat allergen.

It is not perfect in what I do here. I will sometimes sneeze, I will sometimes get itchy eyes. But for the small amount of aggravation, for the alterations that I have made in my lifestyle, it is so worthwhile.

My cats are my kids. I love them. I just can't imagine life without them.