The majority of these allergens can be found in house dust. With dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander, there are exposure-limit values that have been established to determine if the levels are dangerously high. It's possible to take dust samples and have them analyzed to determine if your home contains levels which may be problematic.
Normally a thorough, consistent cleaning program with moisture management is all that is needed to help reduce exposure. Regular dusting of all surfaces, air registers and window blinds in your home, followed by vacuuming, will help minimize the dust in the air. When vacuuming, a HEPA vacuum should be used to trap the small particles and prevent them from being aerosolized. Vacuuming with windows open is recommended if a HEPA vacuum is not available. Weekly vacuuming should include furniture and mattresses.
Moisture management is also very important. Dust mites require a minimum relative humidity of 50% and mold growth can be an issue with humidity levels over 60%. Things that increase humidity levels include cooking, showers and baths, doing laundry and using humidifiers. Where exhaust fans are available, they should always be used. This includes the exhaust fan while cooking. Bathrooms without exhaust fans should have the window cracked open while bathing or showering. Humidifiers should be cleaned regularly and used sparingly. They can put a large amount of moisture in the air, promoting the growth of mold and dust mites.
A little extra effort can go a long way in helping you or a family member who suffers from allergies or asthma. Be proactive and help promote a healthy indoor environment for your entire family.
Scott is a Certified Allergen Inspector through Environmental Solutions Association.
For more information, contact Scott at www.scottsauer.com.