Stop seasonal allergies at home

One of the first steps in battling allergies is to cut down your contact with triggers both outside and inside your home. So for all of you itchy, sneezy, allergy sufferers out there, Consumer Reports reveals which home appliances can help keep allergens at bay.

First, clear the air. Keep pollen out by closing the windows and using your air conditioner to cool your home instead. The A/C can also cut humidity, limiting the growth of mold and dust mites. But be sure to clean the filter regularly.

Allergens can settle on the surface of your bed. Things like dust mites feed on dead skin flakes and accumulate in your bedding. Wipe them out by using the sanitizing cycle on your washer, which uses extra heat that will kill them. And an extra rinse cycle can remove even more allergens.

Another place for allergens to gather are floors. Use your vacuum weekly to pull dust mites, mold, pollen, and animal dander from your carpets. And be sure to choose one with a HEPA filter, which traps small particles and keeps them from going back into the air. Emptying dust from a bagless vacuum can release particles back into the air. So if you have a vacuum with a bin, take it outside to empty it.

And if you’re a severe seasonal allergy sufferer, consider covering your bare floors with washable throw rugs with rubber backing instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. A portable air purifier may help filter pollutants in your home. Look for ones that use a HEPA filter.

A final tip -- take a shower at night before you go to bed. That way, any allergens clinging to you will go down the drain and not into your bedding.

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