How To Keep Outdoor Allergies From Following You Indoors

It's bad enough to have itchy eyes and a runny nose every time you step outside in the spring. You really don't want those outdoor allergies following you inside, too! These tips and tricks will help you keep your home free from pollen this spring.

Leave your shoes (and pollen-covered clothing) outside.

All you have to do is walk through the grass, and you'll have pollen on the soles of your shoes. Leave them outside and the pollen will stay outside, too. If you have a nicer pair of shoes that you don't feel comfortable leaving on the porch, wipe the soles off with a moist cloth or a cleaning wipe before bringing them inside. And dispose of that wipe or cloth outdoors.

If you do any yard work, wear two layers of clothing. This way, you can strip off the outer layer (which is likely covered in pollen) and leave it outside to avoid bringing pollen into the home. Rinse the clothes off in a bucket of water with a little laundry soap before bringing them inside to wash in the washing machine.

Keep your doors and windows closed.

While some fresh air might sound nice, it will bring pollen in with it. Keep your doors and windows shut, and if your home gets too warm, turn on the AC or central fan.

Have your ducts cleaned.

If you haven't been careful about keeping your windows and doors closed in the past, there's probably some pollen hanging out in your ductwork. Whenever you turn the heat or air conditioning on, it will blow through your home, causing allergy symptoms. You really can't clean your ducts yourself since they're behind the walls and special equipment is needed to reach down into them. However, most heating and cooling companies offer duct cleaning services, and you can expect to pay between $300 and $500.

Switch to a HEPA air filter.

If you just have a cheap, fiberglass filter in your HVAC system, it may not be trapping pollen as it ends up in your home. Switch to a HEPA filter, which is designed to catch smaller particles and will do a better job of keeping your indoor air clean.

With a proper duct cleaning, the right air filter, and some care to leave pollen outside, your home can remain a safe haven away from the plight of outdoor allergies this coming spring and summer.