Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Making Your Home an "Allergy Free" Zone

Allergy Free
Make Your Home an Allergy Free Zone
Even if you don't have diagnosable allergies, rising pollution is causing respiratory problems in every large city across the United States as well as many other countries. Allergies can be both indoor and outdoor and even if your allergies are to outdoor items you will want your home to be as allergy free as possible to provide an oasis. Although there is no cure for allergies, there are a number of steps you can take to make your home a cleaner environment to live in.

Purify the Air in Your Home

Invest in a good quality air purifier and use it. A model that covers a large area and doesn't have a filter to be changed will give you the best air quality. Air purifiers have become very common and you can find a reasonably priced model at any discount retailer. In addition to purchasing a good air purifier, change the filters on your existing heating and cooling system every three to four weeks and consider purchasing a filter that claims to reduce allergens. These special filters don’t work for everyone, but can be helpful for some. You may also consider purifying the air in your home with houseplants. Experts have found that the average houseplant can clean up to 10 square feet of indoor space.

Install a Water Filtration System

The skin is the largest organ in the body making pure water extremely important. Consider a whole house water filtration system. This will reduce skin allergens while bathing, and also improve the quality of your drinking water as well as prolong the life of any pipes and fixtures in the house itself. If a whole house system is not an option, there are many models that fit under your kitchen sink. Many home improvement stores sell shower heads that contain a filter as well.

Invest in a Good Vacuum

A vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter is a must. Get rid of the broom, dustpan and feather duster. They just push the dirt around the room. Use your vacuum to do all preliminary cleaning. Vacuum window blinds, the tops of cabinets and in-between fabric cushions. Vacuum any crevice where dirt and dust mites can hide.

Use Natural Cleaners

One of the best ways to fight allergens in the home is with good old soap and water. Keep everything clean, but not with strong chemicals, use natural cleaners instead. You may even want to start making your own; white vinegar and lemon juice works great on floors and counter tops. Lavender soap can be purchased at organic markets and is a great disinfectant in the bathrooms. Lemon oil works well for wood furniture. Good housecleaning products do not have to be the most expensive or the most popular. They need to be the right products for the job and they need to do the job for you. 

Use white vinegar in place of bleach for sinks, counters and floors. Use baking soda in place of scrubbing bubbles in the bathroom; when mixed with vinegar, baking soda provides the same effect. Mix white vinegar with water and place in a spray bottle in place of glass cleaner and recycle old newsprint in place of paper towel for a streak free finish. Avoid anything in an aerosol can.

Clean and Replace Certain Textiles

Textiles such as carpet, upholstery and bed linens can harbor dead skin, dust mites and pet dandruff. Upholstery can be replaced with vinyl or leather and fabric curtains can be replaced with wood or vinyl blinds.  If you must keep upholstered furniture, consider slipcovers. These can be washed regularly and extend the life of your furnishings as well. Invest in washable bed linens, such as cotton, and wash them in a gentle detergent at least once a week.

Replace existing carpet with easily cleaned wood, tile or vinyl. Carpet is impossible to clean and will harbor dirt for a lifetime. Consider the fact that carpet is nothing more than fabric that we walk on and rarely wash and you will see the point. Not only is wood and tile easier to clean, but also it will have the added bonus of reducing your heating and cooling bill.

You may also want to read...
Houseplants Purify Air and Provide Sustainability
Water
Money Saving Natural Oder Killers

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I did not consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I am normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. I did succeed in changing our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming where we are about to take an even bigger step and move out on a dirt road in the country where we can expand our hobby bees and more! You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. Any sponsors or advertisers are independent of this blog.