Keeping Contaminants in Your House Under Control

by Joan Reimann 04/14/2019

As seasons change, the air inside your home changes. Some seasons bring more pollen and dust, while others introduce wood smoke, and still others mold spores, mildew, and fungi. While you can’t keep them all out, here are some ideas for making your indoor as healthful as possible through every season.

Sneeze defeaters

  • Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. These High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters collect the tiny particles that other vacuums return into the air. Look for one with a washable filter since these will be less expensive overall compared to that that require regular replacing. Machines that use a HEPA bag work well, but you’ll need to toss the bag and replace it frequently.
  • Cover up your mattresses and pillows. Your mattress collects dead skin cells, dust mites, and other allergens. Use a dust-proof casing on your mattresses and pillows. Made from vinyl and different fabrics with very dense weaves that have pores too small for dust mites to get through, these zippered cases keep the allergens from invading your sleep space. Frequent washings help these barriers stay fresh and allergen free.
  • Along the same lines, avoid excessive pillows, drapes, throws, and the like in rooms of family members with allergies. A great home improvement project to reduce allergens is to replace windows and blinds with between-the-glass blinds. That way, you don’t need to have window coverings to collect dust and allergens at all.
  • The same holds for family areas. Too many thick textiles gather dust mites, mold spores, and pollen. Try to have a minimum of dust-catching decorative items as well. Look for bookshelves and electronics cabinets with glass doors to keep dust out.
  • Exhaust your bathroom. Make sure you run the exhaust fan during and after showers to remove the moisture from your home. Excessive moisture creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. If something smells musty to you, there’s probably a culprit somewhere in the house. Pay attention to the smells under you sink in the bathroom and kitchen, and sniff behind the washer and dryer every once in a while.
  • Make changing your heat or air conditioning system filters 90-day scheduled maintenance. Do not run your HVAC system without filters since the air intake will draw dust and pollen particles into the system. 
  • If you’ve moved to a new home, don’t just rely on the HVAC filters. Your vents and ducts can fill up with years of dust, pet hair and dander, and pollen. Hire an air duct professional to clean them for you so that you start fresh.
  • On a similar note, keep your dryer vents clean and free of lint. Clear the lint trap with every load and discard it in an enclosed waste can.• Keep your gutters clear of debris since a stopped-up gutter can cause a moisture buildup in your attic, basement, or crawlspace. All of these areas gather dust mites, mold spores, and pollen.
  • Beware of your garden. You can’t do anything about what your neighbors choose to plant, but you can pay attention to your own. Avoid high-pollen grasses and trees.

If you’re looking for a home that is friendly to allergy-prone family members, talk to your real estate agent about newer homes in your area with built-in filtration systems and modern HEPA filtered HVAC systems.

About the Author

Joan Reimann
Joan began her real estate career in 2013 and was recognized as a Rookie of the Year at one of the industry’s most prominent brokerage firms. Since then, she has built a stellar reputation for her sales performance, as well as a loyal and diverse clientele that includes first-time buyers to luxury estate sellers. Joan’s keen attention to detail, tenacity in protecting her clients’ best interests, and skillful negotiating have set her apart. Her boutique-quality service, client-centric approach and industry knowledge ensure her clients' ease and confidence throughout the home buying or selling process. Joan is an ASP® Accredited Staging Professional with the vision and creativity to give properties maximum appeal. Just Phone Joan is her motto as she believes in the fine art of old-school communication and relationships combined with today's cutting-edge technology to provide concierge level service to her clients. To learn more about her award-winning service Just Phone Joan at 703-505-JOAN(5626). AWARDS & RECOGNITION:-Washingtonian Best Real Estate Agents (2017)-Northern Virginia Magazine Best Real Estate Agents (2017)-NVAR Multi-Million Dollar Club Top Producer (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)-Long & Foster Master's Club $20M+ (2017)-Long & Foster Founders' Club $10M+ (2016)-Long & Foster Chairman's Club $5M+ (2014, 2015)-Long & Foster President's Club $3M+ (2013)-Long & Foster Gold Team (2014-2017)-Long & Foster Rookie of the Year Vienna/Oakton (2013)LICENSES & DESIGNATIONS:-Licensed in Virginia and DC-ASP - Accredited Staging Professional-SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist-MILRES - Military Real Estate Specialist