Let’s face it, dust and allergens are a natural part of the outdoor environment. Unless you live in a bubble though (and I am guessing you do not), they will inevitably end up indoors! Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your home. Here are a several suggestions to consider:
Most of us like to open the house up, in order to let fresh air in, when the weather is appropriate, however opening doors and windows will greatly increase the dust and allergens in a home. So, keep doors and windows closed as much as possible if you want to keep the level of dust and allergens down.
Get in the habit of wiping your shoes before coming in from outside. I recommend the use of an absorbent type of door mat or rug, rather than plastic, wicker, or straw. An absorbent material (such as carpet with a nap) will help absorb and remove other types of soil and greasy oils in addition to dust and allergens.
Vacuum the carpet and/or floors in your home regularly, at least once a week. From time to time, vacuum underneath larger furniture as much as possible. Whether you have carpet or hard surface floors, dust will begin to accumulate underneath and behind most furniture. Moving the larger furniture once or twice a year will make quite a difference in keeping the house cleaner overall. Moving larger furniture is not an easy task, however a couple of people could probably team up and get the job done within a reasonable amount of time.
Occasionally vacuum all upholstered furniture throughout the home. This not only helps remove dust and allergens from the home, but it is also one of the most important tips to prolong the life of the furniture as well. A thorough vacuuming once a year is much better than not at all, however every 3-6 months would be even better.
Vacuum fabric curtains, drapes, blinds, cornices, and valances. Doing this about once a year will go a long way. If they are machine washable, consider washing them from time to time.
If you have overhead ledges in your home, vacuum those at least once or twice a year as well.
This is not for everyone, but consider taking shoes off before entering the home. This will not only reduce the amount of dust and allergens that are brought in, but it will also help reduce the amount of bacteria, toxins, pollution, pesticides, and animal excrement that is brought it as well.
Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. HEPA filters will stop tiny particles (as small as 3 microns) from reentering the air as you are vacuuming. You do not necessarily need to spend a lot of money on a vacuum cleaner, just focus on one that has a HEPA filter.
Have your carpet and area rugs professionally cleaned from time to time. I recommend a professional cleaning company that cleans with “hot water extraction”, also called “steam cleaning”. Finding such a company should not be a problem since hot water extraction/steam cleaning is the most widely used method of carpet cleaning.
Change your HVAC (furnace) filter(s) regularly.
Look for traces of mold or water leaks under sinks in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. Small amounts of mold can affect air quality and they can also become a bigger problem if the source of water has not been stopped. Repair small leaks and remove any mold that is present.
One of the more extreme measures to reduce dust and allergens is to use hypoallergenic casings or zip-on dust mite covers for your mattresses and pillows. Again, not for everyone, but something to consider.