Controlling Allergens: In the Home

Even a clean home can be full of allergens, so take a moment to see what you can do to cut down on allergens in each room of your home. Try to avoid things like cigarette smoke and perfume. They can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs and make your allergies worse.

  • Buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Look in consumer magazines for recommendations. Avoid vaporizers and humidifiers, since they encourage mold and dust-mite growth.

  • Use shades or vertical blinds instead of horizontal blinds, which collect dust. Replace drapes with curtains that can be washed regularly.

  • Enclose mattresses, box springs, and pillows in allergy-proof casings. Use washable blankets and quilts. Avoid feather pillows, down comforters, and wool blankets.

  • Avoid dust-catching clutter. Have enclosed places to keep books, toys, and clothes. Keep closet doors closed.

  • Use washable throw rugs wherever possible, or have bare floors.

  • Put filters over forced-air heating vents. Change the filters regularly.

  • Keep your car clean. Vacuum the seats and carpets regularly. If you have air conditioning, use it instead of opening the windows.

  • Keep rain gutters clean. Remove leaves and debris that can grow mold.

  • Check stored food for spoilage and mold growth. Clean up spills right away.

  • Don't let wet clothing sit and grow mold. And don't hang clothes outside to dry where they can collect airborne pollen. Dry clothing immediately in a clothes dryer that's vented to the outside.

  • Install a fan to keep the bathroom well ventilated.



Avoid yard work and pulling weeds. These and other outdoor activities increase your exposure to pollen. If that’s not possible, wear a filter mask. When you’re done, bathe, wash your hair, and change your clothes.