Home appliances help battle seasonal allergies

Consumer Reports offers advice for those sneezing, itching from spring allergies

SAN ANTONIO – One of the first steps in battling allergies is to cut down your contact with triggers outside and inside your home. 

So for all of you itchy, sneezy allergy sufferers out there, Consumer Reports explains which home appliances can help keep allergens at bay.

First, clear the air. 

Keep pollen out by closing the windows and using your air conditioner to cool your home instead. The air conditioner can also cut humidity, limiting the growth of mold and dust mites. But be sure to clean the filter regularly. 

Allergens can settle on the surface of your bed. 

Things like dust mites feed on dead skin flakes and accumulate in your bedding. Wipe them out by using the sanitizing cycle on your washer, which uses extra heat that will kill them. An extra rinse cycle can remove more allergens.

Another place for allergens to gather is your floors. 

Use your vacuum cleaner weekly to pull dust mites, mold, pollen and animal dander from your carpets. Be sure to choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which traps small particles and keeps them from going back into the air. 

Emptying dust from a bagless vacuum can release particles back into the air. So, if you have a vacuum with a bin, take it outside to empty it.

If you're a severe seasonal allergy sufferer, consider covering your bare floors with washable throw rugs with rubber backing instead of wall-to-wall carpeting.

A portable air purifier may help filter pollutants in your home. Look for ones that use a HEPA filter.

One final tip: Take a shower at night before you go to bed. That way, any allergens clinging to you will go down the drain and not into your bedding.

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