Spring allergy season is here, which means spring house cleaning season is well underway. If you suffer from spring allergies, you’ve probably already attacked your carpets, flat surfaces, and linens with sanitizers, dusters, and detergent hoping to weather this year’s onslaught of pollen a little better than last year.
But because of a common misconception about cleaning, and some often overlooked havens of allergens, your efforts may not make as much of a difference as you’d like.
Does antibacterial spray help with allergens?
Let’s start with the misconception. Sanitizing your home with antibacterial spray, while great for preventing bacterial infections, does little to help with allergies. That’s because most allergens are non-living, so you can’t kill them. The only solution is to remove them with a thorough house cleaning targeting air filters, surfaces, and carpets.
1. Are your air filters tired and over-worked?
Replacing the air filter in your furnace and air conditioning units is the obvious place to start when it comes to improving air quality in your home. The filter worked hard cleaning the air that cycled through your furnace all winter long, and it’s most likely due for a replacement.
But sometimes, especially if you live in an older home, replacing the filters is not enough. Sometimes the ducts in your house are contaminated with allergens like insects, skin cells, mites, pollen, or worse, mold. Local companies like Dirty Ducts can help you clean your ducts regularly, and you’ll likely reap the added benefit of saving money on your energy bill. Removing debris from sensitive mechanical components in your HVAC will make it run more efficiently and last longer.
2. Is your vacuum helping or hurting your house cleaning effort?
Here’s the hard truth: all vacuums are not created equal. Some vacuum cleaners, especially cheaper, upright ones, pull dust out of the carpet or off the floor and shoot it right back into the air. You can sometimes see the dust flying out of the exhaust pipe of vacuums with cloth bags. That’s not helping your allergies!
If you want to make sure your vacuuming effort is not just a waste of time, consider using the type of vacuum that professional house cleaning companies use.
At Skyline Services, we use ProTeam vacuums. ProTeam vacuums are much more effective at removing dust because they use HEPA fIlters. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air, and HEPA filtration systems earn that rating by capturing 99.97 percent of all particles 0.3 microns or larger. That level of thorough cleaning will go a long way toward removing allergens from your house.
3. Horizontal surfaces catch the most dust, but vertical surfaces hide lots of allergens.
It’s easy to see allergens accumulating on your dresser, bookshelves, and on top of the TV. But allergens can cling to any surface. Cat dander, dog hair, grass pollen, and tree pollen can all cling to your walls, the sides of book shelves, the fabric of your furniture, and the grout between your bathroom tiles. To remove these allergens you need to wipe or scrub all surfaces — vertical and horizontal.
This kind of deep cleaning is daunting, and fortunately, it doesn't need to be done every week. Giving your home a deep cleaning once or twice a year, or hiring a local professional house cleaning company to do it, will dramatically improve your indoor air quality. If you start with a thorough house cleaning, you can maintain cleaner air by vacuuming two or three times a week to keep allergens from building up.
4. Have you gotten your carpets professionally cleaned?
The previous three tips will go a long way toward improving air quality in your home and improving your allergies. But if you still aren’t experiencing much relief, it might be time to get your carpets professionally cleaned.
Some home-owners choose to rent carpet cleaning machines from local hardware or grocery stores, but these typically provide an inferior cleaning service. At Skyline Services, our truck-mounted carpet cleaning machine provides powerful extraction, using the same technology as a jet engine, which is the most important aspect of carpet cleaning.
Professional cleaners also know how to properly apply safe chemicals before and after cleaning to make sure dirt and germs break down and release from the carpet and that your carpet is protected from resoiling after the cleaning. In new homes or in recently renovated homes, regular professional cleaning may be required to maintain the warranty on the carpet.
Stop your spring allergies
Applying these house cleaning tips can make a huge difference in your allergies this spring. Make sure the air in your home is as clean as possible by cleaning the filters — both the furnace and the carpets — and removing allergens that build up on all surfaces during the winter.