6 Best Window Blinds and Shades for Reducing Dust and Allergens
Allergy season is dreadful for those who have a sensitivity to the outdoor environment. However, most people don’t realize that their home environment causes just as many sneezing spells and congested sinuses as the outdoors. Unfortunately, your house is a playground for dust mites and particles. If you don’t clean on a regular basis, accumulated dust can cause serious issues to your well-being. Fortunately, you can combat your harmful atmosphere by making adjustments to your decor–starting with your window coverings.
Which Window Coverings Should You Choose?
The best way to keep allergens in your home at bay is to choose window coverings that are easy to clean and resistant to dust.
Installing roman shades is a good idea if you suffer from allergies. Although these window coverings are a great alternative to traditional blinds, they still can attract dust and debris. Unfortunately, you have to clean roman shades more often than other shades because dust can accumulate within the folds. However, they’re fairly easy to clean with the use of vacuuming or dusting.
Vertical blinds are at the top of the list for allergen-resistant window coverings. If you want the best, choose vertical window coverings made with PVC or vinyl fabric. They’re incredibly simple to clean by using a vacuum or duster. You can also wipe them down with a washcloth to keep them free of particle build-up.
Aluminum Mini Blinds
These window coverings might not be the most decorative, but they are perfect for keeping your home environment clean. You can use a damp cloth to wipe them off and because of the material, they’re less likely to attract dust.
Not only are cellular blinds great for blocking the sunlight, they also help to reduce particle and allergen accumulation. They are composed of cellular plastic that wipes off easily and provides energy efficiency for your home.
Faux Wood Blinds
Faux wood blinds are both decorative and good for allergy sufferers. Wood attracts dust mites less than fabric window coverings. Plus, they’re simple to clean and dust.
Pleated Fabric Shade
These window coverings are great for people who have a tough time with allergies. They consist of non-woven polyester fabric which reduces dust and particles from building up on them. Furthermore, they don’t contain any cords which make them easy to adjust.
Roller shades are one of the most practical window coverings, and one of the best to help combat dust. The great thing about these shades is that they have a flat surface and are really simple to wipe off. Not only that, dust can’t settle on roller shades when they’re pulled up–which means less allergic triggers for you. This type of covering might not be your favorite to use for decoration purposes, but regular shutters and blinds easily trap allergens within the folds. Therefore, if you suffer from asthma or allergies, it’s best to use window coverings that are more practical.
What Is House Dust?
You might be wondering what exactly dust is and where it comes from. It seems like it’s just a mystery substance that magically appears out of nowhere and wreaks havoc on your asthma and allergies–and it’s also an eye sore. Well, it is not just one thing that causes dust. It’s a combination of dried food particles, pollen, fabric fibers, pet dander and even insect parts. Believe it or not, dust mite and cockroach particles accumulate into dust. These things are so small they easily whisk into the air without being noticed, which results in dust. After reading that list of substances, it’s easy to understand how dust can cause irritation.
More Ways to Keep Your Home Environment Clear of Allergens
Changing your blinds is only one of the ways to keep the atmosphere in your house safe for your family. There are also other ways to help diminish the allergens in your home as well.
Buy Washable Curtains
Unfortunately, curtains are a magnet for dust. Therefore, the best thing to do is to decorate with a synthetic fabric or 100 percent cotton, which both can be simply cleaned in the washing machine. But if you plan to use these types of window coverings, make sure they’re not dry clean only. Otherwise, the collection of dust will be cleaned less often.
Use Dust Mite Covers
Pillows attract lots of dust mites which can irritate allergy sufferers. Not only do you need covers on your bed pillows, but you should also use them on your decorative pillows. Pillows used for decoration don’t get washed, which makes them a playground for allergens. You can add a guarded layer underneath the cushions to fight out the dust mites. You can also buy hypoallergenic pillow decor.
Real garden flowers are beautiful and provide a calming ambience to your home. However, if you are someone who struggles with allergies, they can be unbearable on your sinuses. Silk flowers, however, look realistic and also help to keep allergens at bay.
Scented candles provide a luscious aroma for your home and create a relaxing ambience. But if you have allergies, stay away from fragrances. Unfortunately, they can cause sneezing spells and irritation. Instead, you can use unscented beeswax candles.
Natural Blanket Fibers
Most synthetic blankets are made from dyes and fabrics that can cause irritation to your sinuses. There’s no way to avoid coming into contact with your covers and throws, so it’s important to use the proper throws and comforters. If you notice that the blankets that you use make you itch, that’s a sign that they’re not good to use.
Remove Your Carpet
Carpet is a huge trigger for allergy spells. So, it’s best to have a home with hardwood flooring or ceramic tile. It’s especially vital to have your bedroom free of carpet because you repeatedly inhale dust particles throughout the night.
Natural Fibers for Bedding
In addition to the carpet in your bedroom, the bed itself should be allergen-resistant. A lot of linens contain chemical and other synthetic fibers that can cause irritation. It’s best to use silk or cotton to reduce the risk of dust mites.
Place Air Purifiers in Your Home
To ensure that you keep your sinuses clear, purchase an air purifier. By placing one in the window, it will help to keep contaminants outside and block them from coming into your home. Additionally, it’s best to use HEPA filtration which traps nearly 100 percent of dust and allergens.
Keep Your Home Impeccable
Constantly cleaning your house might not be the most fun thing to do, but it’s worth it to keep you free from allergy irritation. Be sure to keep your windowsills and blinds washed on a regular basis.
What Causes Dust Allergies?
One of the main triggers of allergies is dust mites. Unfortunately, most people live in an environment that’s harmful to their health and it is usually their home. Dust mites are microorganisms that feed off the dust particles and the moisture in the air. Furthermore, dusting and vacuuming make it easy to inhale the harmful elements. They’re also usually found in carpets, pillows, mattresses and furniture.
Pet Dander, Fur and Feathers
Your furry friends can cause lots of problems to your allergy issues as well. The dander can cause allergic reactions and congested sinuses. If you continuously have pets around, it can cause ongoing irritation.
Symptoms to Look Out for
If you are experiencing symptoms as a result of indoor allergens, you might not realize that it’s because of your home environment. One of the symptoms to look for is irritation with the skin. Indoor dust mites and allergens can result in eczema, allergic dermatitis and skin rashes that cause itching. You might also notice that you have complications with nasal congestion, runny nose and watery eyes associated with conjunctivitis. It’s easy to dismiss allergy symptoms and not know they’re a result of indoor allergens which produce hay fever–one of the most common forms of allergies. Here are some other common symptoms:
- Nasal Congestion
- Post Nasal Drip
- Scratchy or Sore throat
Here’s Why You Should Use a HEPA Vacuum
Now that you’ve learned more about dust and allergens, you can work on more effective ways to eliminate them. Instead of using a conventional vacuum to clean your window coverings, try using a HEPA vacuum. If you’re experiencing serious issues with allergies, it’s best to kick things up a notch. The primary difference between the two types of vacuums is that the standard version isn’t equipped to prevent dust and particles from escaping. However, the HEPA version is designed to trap 99.97 percent of particles. On the other hand, HEPA cleaners can’t capture everything. You first have to make sure the filter is sealed correctly or the contents might seep out. And also, particles that are under 0.3 microns in size can potentially pass through it. But don’t let that discourage you. HEPA vacuums have a much better success rate than regular ones, and they’re worth trying.
Go the Extra Mile with Cleaning
It’s a no-brainer that continuous cleaning is required in order to keep the atmosphere in your home safe. However, there are other factors you should consider when picking out household cleaners. Sadly, there are cleansing products on the market that can cause just as much damage and irritability than dust and allergens. There are lots of harmful chemicals in cleaning agents that are not safe to use. Therefore, you should opt to use more natural products such as baking soda and vinegar. Plus, there are companies that manufacture organic cleansers that you can utilize. When it comes to your home and the well-being of your family, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Clean and Seal Your Windows
As a last step of precaution to help with your allergies, concentrate on your windows. Molded glass windows can result from moisture and rain condensation which can also irritate your allergies. Luckily, you can easily clean the glass and window sill with natural cleaners. You can combine water and vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it away with soapy water. Additionally, it’s a good idea to seal the windows. It helps to keep pollen and particles outside, as well as prevents moisture from seeping in. Not only can condensation and moisture damage your window coverings, but they produce a harmful environment. The first thing you can do is check your window for cracks and other openings. Once you’ve identified the problem areas, you can simply use caulk to fill in the gaps.
Keep Your Family Safe from Harmful Elements
Your home is the place where you go to relax, but you might not think about it as a harmful environment. Luckily, there are several ways you can fight against dust and allergens to make your environment cleaner. Allergies are not fun! The less irritants there are, the better you’ll feel. Taking the extra precautions with cleaning and changing out your window coverings and other decor is totally worth it. If you’ve noticed that your allergy symptoms aren’t improving, it might be time to take an assessment of your home. Hopefully, this information will put you on the road to breathing more easily.