Life

Tips for making your home a pollen-free zone

Is your house hay fever-friendly? Abi Jackson reveals the practical steps sufferers – and their mums and dads – can take

Hay fever sufferers will be aware that the pollen season starts around now and lasts until September

FROM nuisance sneezing attacks to full-blown illness, hay fever can make life pretty miserable during pollen season.

Pollen sticks to just about everything (yep, that means clothes, shoes, hair, skin, pets) and gets carried in the air, so it's inevitable that some of the pesky particles will end up infiltrating your home too. Cue broken sleep, rotten evenings and starting the day with streaming eyes before you've even set foot outside.

So, what can you do to keep your house a pollen-free zone? These steps will help:

1. Keep windows closed as much as possible

Pollen can waft indoors through open windows, so it's advisable to keep them closed as much as possible during pollen season (the tree pollen season is roughly from late March to mid-May). Naturally, nobody wants a stuffy house, and you may need to let some air through occasionally – but be savvy with your timing. Allergy UK points out that keeping windows closed is especially important "in early mornings, when pollen is released, and in the evening when the air cools and pollens that have been carried up into the air begin to fall to ground level again".

2. Wash curtains and fabric covers

Despite your best efforts, there's still a good chance some pollen will get into your home – so it's a good idea to wash your curtains, along with any removable sofa or cushion covers, on a regular basis.

3. Don't hang laundry to dry outdoors

Sure, being able to hang washing out to dry in the garden during spring and summer is super-convenient, but for hay fever sufferers, it's a no-no.

4. Invest in an air purifier

Investing in a quality air purifier could be a good bet if your symptoms are troublesome. The Vax Pure Air 300 Air Purifier (£279.96, vax.co.uk), billed as the 'UK's most effective way to clean the air in your home', removes 99 per cent of harmful particles from the air, monitoring and trapping pollen – plus particles like dust and pet dander, which are often a 'trigger' for people with hay fever too.

5. De-pollen your pets before they come indoors

Pollen can stick to fur, so to prevent pets traipsing it all over your house, Allergy UK recommends wiping their coats with a damp microfibre cloth before they come in.

6. Up your vacuuming game

Being a bit more gung-ho with your vacuuming is a good idea during pollen season. And don't just do the floors; run the vacuum-cleaner across soft furnishings, sofas, cushions, curtains and beds if required too.

7. Have an arriving-home wash ritual

You might normally wait until right before bed to have a wash, but during pollen season, it's a good idea for hay fever sufferers to adopt a quick washing routine as soon as you get home. Pollen can stick to skin and hair, so a speedy shower will help prevent you 'sitting' with it for the rest of the evening.

8. Avoid mowing the lawn

This might sound like a no-brainer, but if you've got hay fever, you probably want to avoid gardening – particularly mowing the lawn and raking leaves – during pollen season.

:: For more information see allergyuk.org

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