Allergies can turn our homes into uncomfortable spaces, causing sneezing, itchy eyes, and general discomfort. Fortunately, there are practical steps we can take to minimize allergens and create a more allergen-proof environment.

1. Vacuum regularly: Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean carpets, upholstery, and floors. This will help to remove dust, dirt, pet dander, and other allergens that can trigger allergies. Vacuum at least once a week, and more often in high-traffic areas

2. Dust frequently: Dusting is important to remove dust mites and other allergens from surfaces in your home. Use a microfiber cloth or damp cloth to avoid just spreading the dust around. Consider investing in a HEPA-filtered air purifier to help reduce airborne allergens.

3. Wash bedding often: Bedding can be a major source of allergens, including dust mites and pet dander. Wash sheets, pillowcases, and blankets at least once a week in hot water to kill dust mites. Encase your pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof covers to reduce exposure to dust mites.

4. Control humidity: High humidity can promote the growth of mold and dust mites, which can trigger allergies. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50%. Fix any leaks or water damage promptly to prevent mold growth.

5. Keep pets groomed: If you have pets, groom them regularly to reduce shedding and dander. Consider keeping pets out of bedrooms and off of upholstered furniture to minimize exposure to allergens. Wash pet bedding frequently in hot water to kill dust mites and other allergens.