How to Keep Pollen Out of Your Home

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Pollen season is in full swing. Oak and cedar trees are relying on spring breezes to transport their pollen, but those breezes are also bringing that pollen into your home. There are some simple yet very effective ways to keep pollen out of your house this spring.

Common sense tells us to keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. If you want fresh air, open your windows during the evening and the night. After 6 a.m, pollen reaches its highest levels. Pollen accumulates on your clothing, so change your clothes and put them directly in the washing machine when you come inside. If you don’t want to put them through an entire wash cycle, you can put them in the dryer to remove pollen.

Use your air conditioner to keep humidity low and pollen out of the house. If you use window air conditioners, clean out the filters every week with a vacuum cleaner and use tape to seal the space around the unit.

Pollen particles are very large and settle quickly once they’re in the air. Avoid turning on fans and air cleaners until after you’ve vacuumed and dusted. Pollen particles drop to flat surfaces and only get stirred up by moving air or movement.

Drying your clothes outside on a clothes line saves energy, but if you are allergic to pollen it’s not the best way to dry your laundry. Leaving your clothing out all day on a clothes line leaves your clothes full of pollen. Use your clothes dryer and forget the clothes line.

Pets bring pollen into the house on their fur. Wipe them with a microfiber cloth as they enter the home. The microfiber will pull the pollen off their fur and you can put the cloth directly into the washing machine.

Pollen drops onto furniture, hard floors and carpets within four minutes of being airborne. You need to remove the pollen before it’s stirred into the air again.

Clean with a high quality vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Since pollen drops to the floor within four minutes after being stirred up, vacuuming twice a day will remove it from the floor and keep it out of the air. Invest in a high quality air purifier to remove pollen from the air. Once you have the room dusted and vacuumed, you can run the purifier to remove any remaining pollen. Make sure the purifier is a HEPA rated air cleaner.

Wipe pollen from screens with a microfiber cloth on a regular basis. Pollen will adhere to the screen and work its way into the house when the windows are open.

Clean more often. Plan to dust and vacuum the house twice as often during pollen season. This will keep pollen off flat surfaces and prevent it from being stirred up into the air.

Cover places where you sit and sleep with a light sheet during the day. Gently remove the sheet to keep pollen completely off the areas.

Use door mats both inside and outside of highly trafficked doors to catch pollen on the bottoms of your shoes. Get everyone to agree to take their shoes off in an area separate from the living areas so the pollen stays out of the house.

When you’re tired of battling the pollen in your home, close it up and take a trip to the sea shore or waterfront. Most of these areas are pollen-free and a great escape from the high levels you are dealing with in your home.

Photo credits: Leslie Reichert

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