But there are things you can do to make it better. Here’s our guide to surviving this season.
Step 1: Keep as much pollen out of your home as you can
The first step is keeping it out of your home. Of course, you won’t be able to completely get rid of it, but these tips will help you get close.
Take off your shoes and outerwear as soon as you get home
Wipe your shoes off on your doormat and then take them off as soon as you get inside. If you’re wearing a hat or jacket, take them off and leave them there, also.
Take a shower and wash your hair
After you’re home for the day, take a shower and wash all that pollen off of you. It’s especially important to wash your hair because your hair is a magnet for pollen.
Keep your windows closed
It’s beautiful outside, so you may be tempted to open the windows in your home. Don’t. If it gets warm, run your air conditioner instead. This will keep it out of your home. Plus, running your AC can also clean your air (see step 3 below for more info).
Wipe off your pets
Before your pets come inside, wash off their paws and fur with a damp towel.
Stay inside during the day
Pollen counts tend to be highest in the mornings so avoid outdoor activities until early evening, if you can help it.
Step 2: Stick to a regular cleaning schedule
There’s no way to keep all of the pollen out of your Birmingham area home. But you can remove most of what gets in by cleaning your home every 2 weeks with these tips:
Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter
If you vacuum with a regular filter, you’ll pick it up off the floor and send it back into your home’s air. A HEPA filter catches even the smallest particles, like pollen, so that only clean air is exhausted by your vacuum.
Vacuum your couches and upholstery
Pollen sticks to sofas, drapes and other upholstery. When you’re vacuuming, don’t forget these surfaces.
Empty the vacuum outside
Don’t open up the vacuum inside or you’ll release more pollen into your home’s air again.
Don’t use a feather duster
Feather dusters don’t pick up dust, they just move it. So dusting with one actually makes your home’s air worse. Use a damp, clean cloth instead.
Wear a mask while cleaning
Cleaning releases more pollen into the air temporarily. Wear a mask to avoid breathing in the allergens. You may also want to leave the home for an hour or so when you finish cleaning to let the dust settle (literally).
Wash your bedding weekly
A bed full of pollen and other allergens can make trying to sleep a nightmare. Wash your pillowcases, sheets and other bedding weekly in hot water.
Step 3: Purify your air
We’ve already mentioned that running your air conditioner can actually help clean your home’s air. This is because every AC has a filter that will remove some pollen from your air.
But pollen is small and will pass through most filters.
That’s where a whole-home air purifier can help. Whole-home air purifiers are basically large, highly efficient air filters that connect to your home’s AC system and clean your air while it runs. These air purifiers can remove up to 96% of all germs, and bacteria in your home’s air.