As the weather gets colder and we start spending more and more time indoors, this time of year can present challenges to those who suffer from allergies and asthma. We’d like to thank Dr. Luetke of Broad Axe Family Medicine in Skippack for providing us with these helpful tips:
1) To kill dust mites: wash pillows and stuffed animals weekly in hot water (above 130 degrees). If using cooler water, use bleach.
2) Reduce indoor humidity to below 60 percent. Ideal ranges are 30-50 percent.
3) Fix leaky faucets, pipes, or other sources of water that have mold around them. Use bleach to clean moldy surfaces.
4) When vacuuming, use a dust mask (available at hardware stores), double-layered or microfilter vacuum bags, or a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
5) Replace standard HVAC filters with HEPA filters, available at home improvement stores. Air filters are rated on a MERV scale of 1-16, with a higher rating indicating better filtration of small irritants and allergens. Oliver also offers high-efficiency filters.
6) Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf on cold or windy days.
7) Talk to your doctor about all over-the-counter medicines you are taking, including cold remedies, aspirin, vitamins and other supplements. Some OTC medicines can aggravate asthma.
8) Smart vacation planning can also provide relief: schedule your next getaway when pollen counts are highest locally.
9) Professional duct cleaning can significantly reduce the amount of harmful irritants and allergens circulating in your home. Call Oliver today for a free estimate.
10) If you smoke, ask your doctor for ways to help you quit.