10 Ways to Fight Pollen at Home

Pollen does not affect everyone in the same way.

People with a sensitivity to the substance can find it debilitating. Food crops, flowers, grass, and trees rely on pollen to reproduce. The pollen grains that make pollination possible can cause misery for many people. The presence of pollen in the body raises histamine levels that can lead to congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing, and much more.

Pollen is a lightweight and powdery airborne allergen that moves through the air with the slightest breeze. The particulates enter homes through open doors, window screens, and on people and pets. Once inside, the pollen can continue to cause problems as it circulates through the heating and cooling system. The allergen will stick to furnishings, floors, and more. No one can prevent all pollen from entering the home but reducing the number of allergens in the interior air is possible.

1. Keep Things Inside

Pollen covers things like cars, barbecue grills, and lawn furnishings because they are easily accessible. The pollen transfers to people as they reach for car handles, use their grill or sit at their patio set. Once the substance is on the hands or clothes, it is easy for the material to get into the eyes or nose and cause reactions. People can also bring pollen into their house on themselves and their clothes and shoes.

Keep outside belongings under shelter when not in use to reduce the amount of pollen that covers the surfaces. Put away cars, furnishings, and grills rather than keeping them in the yard. A layer of pollen on any item will make it an allergy trigger for any user. The sheltering will shorten the time for pollen to settle on the items. Always keep the windows on vehicles closed to reduce how much of the allergen gets inside.

2. Avoid the Spread

Follow a few simple steps to prevent the spread of pollen through the home. Leave shoes and outerwear at the front door when you come inside. Take a shower and change into fresh clothes once coming inside after spending a lot of time outdoors. Cover the hair entirely with a hat or scarf to reduce the amount of grooming needed to remove the pollen. Wash your hands and face every time you spend time outside to remove any pollen that got on the skin.

Pets can bring in a lot of pollen since they often lay or roll in the grass where pollen-producing plants grow or where pollen lands after falling from trees. Pollen can collect in the fur of any pet, but long-haired animals are most at risk for trapping the allergen. Pets can also experience allergy responses to pollen, so a wipe down when they come in will benefit them as much as the people in the home. Pet owners should keep a towel and brush in the entryway to wipe down the fur and paws of their pets. Soak the pet brush weekly in a dish of warm water and a few drops of dish soap to remove any pollen trapped in the bristles. Not washing the brush could cause distribute the pollen stuck in the bristles to spread through the fur.

3. Wash Outdoor Clothing

Wash immediately any clothing worn during outside activities. Remove all clothes and place them in the washing machine, not a clothes basket, before getting in the shower. Do this as soon as possible and before sitting down or walking around the home too much. Any delay in the removal could allow pollen to contaminate the air. Remember also to clean things used while outside like sunglasses, gardening tools, gloves, or sports gear.

4. Reduce Entrance Points

Keep doors and windows closed whenever pollen levels rise because any breeze can blow pollen through the window screens. Regularly replace the HEPA filters in air conditioning systems to ensure the air stays as clear as possible. Experts recommend that people replace the filters in their air conditioning units once a month when the systems are in use. Close any gaps or holes in the home because pollen can enter anywhere. Caulk around the doors and windows and where any plumbing pipes or electrical conduit enters the home.

5. Replace All Screens

Keeping the windows closed during pleasant weather is not a desirable option for everyone. People that want to enjoy fresh air even when pollen levels rise should replace their window screens with models with upgraded NanoScreen technology. The modern screens are durable, less likely to puncture than other materials, and offer more effective filtration.

Upgraded window and door screens can enable people to have fresh air in their homes without the allergens that would normally enter an open window. The screens will not block and view or look noticeably different than a basic screen. People that keep their windows closed and use NanoScreen technology will create an even higher level of allergen control.

6. Keep Ducts Maintained

Many allergens can collect in the dark and damp ductwork that helps to heat or cool interior air. Small particulates can cling to the sides of the ducts or in any bends or grooves in the metal. Ducts that leak or do not vent properly can recirculate contaminated air through the home even if the system has clean filters. Have an HVAC technician inspect and clean all ductwork at least once a year. Replace any damaged ductwork to make sure the air in the system moves correctly and there is no backflow.

7. Clean Exterior Entrances

Wash all surfaces on exterior entryways, porches, and patios. Do not sweep these areas or dry dust because the movement can cause any settled pollen to become airborne. The loose material will only resettle on the surfaces and can cause an allergic reaction to the individual trying to clean the area. Use a damp mop or rag for all cleanings.

Screened in porches with traditional screens will have as much pollen inside as an unscreened porch. The nylon or aluminum screen can also collect and hold a lot of the particulates. Wipe both sides of the screens with a damp cloth or vacuum the screens about once a week. Remember to also wipe the interior and exterior of any doors that lead onto porches and are in entryways to reduce how much pollen will get onto the hands as people enter.  Pay attention to doorframes as well as the doorknobs.

8. Change Some Habits

People that typically shower in the morning may want to reconsider their routines. A nighttime shower helps to remove any pollen in the hair or on the body, so it does not transfer to the bedding when people go to bed. The pollen settles into pillows and mattresses when people do not remove it from their hair and bodies before bedtime. The buildup of pollen in bedding may explain why some people have allergy symptoms that worsen overnight.

Pollen levels usually spike in the early morning from about 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and at dusk. Try to avoid scheduling any outdoor activities during these times. Busy schedules do not always make the change possible, so look for other alternatives. Consider working out at a gym and sending pets to an indoor doggy daycare on the days when pollen levels are at their highest.

9. Clean the Home Regularly

Dust and vacuum at least 1-2 times every week. Clean the home with a microfiber dust cloth or a damp rag to trap the pollen rather than spreading it through the air with a dry duster. Use a vacuum with a reliable HEPA filtration system to reduce how much dust the machine releases. Take the vacuum outside to empty the canister to keep any dust produced during the emptying from reentering the interior air. Wipe the vacuum cleaner with a damp rag after every 2-3 uses and wash or replace filters as often as manufacturers recommend.

10. Use Air Purifiers

Some pollen will enter the home, regardless of how hard people try to keep it out. An air purifier can help to clean the air and make the environment more comfortable for everyone. Place an air purifier on each level of the home and keep the space around the unit clear of furnishings to allow proper air circulation. Consider small air purifiers for each bedroom in larger homes and homes with residents that experience severe allergy symptoms. Use air purifiers all year and not only when pollen levels rise because the filters also remove mold, dander, and smoke from interior air.

Reduce the discomfort experienced from pollen with the tips listed here. Remember that spring often has the highest pollen levels, but many plants have a year-round pollination schedule. People with an extreme sensitivity to pollen should make the habits a permanent part of their routine. Using screens from AllergyGuard.com may make it possible to shield the home and its residents from pollen with no other preventative steps needed. Find out more today to make your home more comfortable for everyone.