If you are suffering from allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose and itchy or watery eyes, locating the source of your allergies and making efforts to reduce this source could bring you a great deal of relief. Dust mites are among the most common household allergens and can trigger severe allergic reactions in sensitive people.
Dust mites are actually members of the arachnid family which also includes spiders and ticks. These tiny eight legged creatures thrive in warm, moist environments and eat skin particles that accumulate in mattresses, pillows, couches, etc. Although they do not bite, specific proteins present in the bodies and fecal matter of these mites can trigger allergenic responses in many people. A number of simple steps to reduce the population of these uninvited house guests include:
- Keeping your household humidity levels below 55 percent. Since mites cannot live in a dry environment, reducing humidity is one of the most effective ways of minimizing exposure to dust mites. Running a dehumidifier and using ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to vent humid air directly outdoors can help keep humidity in check.
- Replacing wall to wall carpeting with smooth flooring in as much of your home as possible, especially bedrooms. This will allow for nearly complete removal of the dust particles which accumulate on the flooring within all homes, as smooth floors can be vacuumed with a HEPA type cleaner, leaving behind a much cleaner surface compared to carpeting which tends to hold dust particles deep within its fibers even after cleaning.
- Using “mite proof” mattress and pillow covers and being sure to change your sheets and pillow cases frequently.
- Replacing your HVAC filter regularly with a filter having a MERV value of at least 11.
- Consider using UV light air filtration to reduce dust mite population.
If you would like more information on reducing dust mites in your Portland area home, the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling would love to help you; we have been serving the area since 1976!