Woman blowing her nose

As the flowers bloom and the temperatures rise, spring brings a sense of renewal and rejuvenation to Portland. However, for many residents, it also marks the onset of seasonal allergies, with pollen, mold, and other allergens lurking both outdoors and indoors. While we can't control the pollen count outside, there are steps we can take to minimize allergens and improve indoor air quality in our homes. Here are some tips to help you breathe easier this spring:

Regular Cleaning

Dust, pet dander, and other allergens can accumulate on surfaces and in carpets, exacerbating allergy symptoms. Make sure to dust and vacuum your home regularly, paying special attention to high-traffic areas and upholstery. Consider using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to capture smaller particles effectively.

Keep Windows Closed

While it's tempting to let in the fresh spring air, open windows can invite pollen and other outdoor allergens into your home. Keep windows closed, especially during peak pollen times, and rely on air conditioning to circulate and filter indoor air. Check your local pollen count for the most current information. 

Control Humidity

Mold thrives in damp environments, so it's essential to keep indoor humidity levels in check. Use a dehumidifier to maintain humidity levels below 50%, especially in areas prone to moisture buildup like bathrooms and basements. Fix any leaks or water damage promptly to prevent mold growth.

Wash Bedding Frequently

Bedding can harbor allergens like dust mites and pollen, so it's crucial to wash sheets, pillowcases, and blankets regularly in hot water. Consider using allergen-proof covers for mattresses and pillows to create a barrier against dust mites.

Invest in Air Purifiers

Consider investing in a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove airborne allergens and improve indoor air quality. Place air purifiers in commonly used areas like bedrooms and living rooms for maximum effectiveness.

Limit Indoor Plants

While indoor plants can add beauty to your home, they can also harbor mold spores and pollen. If you're prone to allergies, consider limiting the number of indoor plants or choosing low-allergen varieties.

Remove Shoes at the Door

Pollen, dirt, and other outdoor allergens can hitch a ride into your home on your shoes. Create a designated area near the entrance to remove shoes before entering the house to prevent tracking allergens indoors.

By implementing these simple tips, you can create a healthier indoor environment and minimize the impact of spring allergies on you and your family. Remember, taking proactive steps to reduce allergens in your home can help you breathe easier and enjoy the beauty of spring in Portland to the fullest.