The sun is out, the birds are singing and warm weather is here, all of which translates to springtime – and allergy season. Achoo! It’s also time to throw open the shutters and tackle spring cleaning. Whether you dread this process or you find it strangely soothing (sheepishly raises hand), it’s got to be done, especially since your home isn’t just going to clean itself. Wouldn’t that be the dream life?
But if you happen to be one of the 50 million people that suffer from allergies each year, particularly during the spring season, then a thorough spring cleaning is vital to keeping sneezing, coughing, and wheezing fits at bay so that you can enjoy the warm weather and longer days. Here are a few spring cleaning tips to help keep your home clean and allergy free.
 Know What Trigger Your Allergies
First, and foremost, it’s important to know what triggers your allergies. Dust, pollen, and mold are three of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. And while you may think you’re allergic to dust, other substances may be involved as well. It pays to contact an allergist, who can help you find the source of your suffering through allergy testing, so that you can avoid your triggers.
 Spring for HEPA Filters
Only use a vacuum that is equipped with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency pollution air. These filters work by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps most microscopic allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. Vacuuming frequently (a minimum of once a week) with a HEPA filter is your best defense against allergies. You can find HEPA filters at most home improvement and big box stores.
 Replace Those HVAC Filters
Replacing your HVAC system’s filters goes a long way toward creating an allergy-free home. Quality electrostatic, pleated, HEPA, and activated carbon filters are all highly effective at minimizing the allergens in your home. Disposable filters should be changed once every three months. However, they may need to be changed more often, depending on your specific needs.
 Don’t Ignore Your Bedroom
Make your bedroom your sanctuary by making sure to wash its bedding (i.e. linens and comforters once a week. Using allergy-free pillows, pillowcases, and mattress covers are also highly recommended when trying to create an allergy-free home – or in this case, bedroom. Make sure your dresser tops, nightstands, and desks are free from clutter as cluttered surfaces seem to attract dust a lot quicker than non-cluttered surfaces.
 Steam Clean Those Carpets
To get rid of all that ails you, as well as make your carpets and upholstery look better and last longer, you should have them regularly steamed cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner every six months. For those of you without pets or severe allergies, you may be able to have your carpets cleaned annually, rather than semi-annually. Steam cleaning will leave you with not only a clean carpet, but a healthy one.