What’s Inside: 9 surprisingly simple ways to improve indoor air quality in your home during allergy season. Sponsored by Philips.
How to Clean Air in Your Home
As parents, we do so much to ensure that our home is safe.
We child-proof cabinets and doors.
We install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, and note on the calendar how often to check the batteries.
We use kind words and make our home a safe space for sharing and making mistakes.
But when your child has seasonal or environmental allergies, even the air in your home can feel unsafe. Surprisingly, indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than outdoor air!
How to Improve the Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
Like 30-35% of the global population, both my oldest daughter and I suffer from seasonal allergies. Certain times of year are particularly frustrating, as allergies can interfere with sleep.
Allergy medicine helps to a certain degree, but surely it can be helpful to go straight to the source by identifying and removing allergens in the home.
These strategies worked for us, and may help you reduce allergens in your home too:
1. Clean up the Clutter
Not only does clutter often collect dust, it’s also a sign that an area hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
Every night, I go around the house with a laundry basket and pick up all clutter and wipe down the surfaces. Not only does my house look great, there is no build-up of dust and allergens lurking in our cluttered counters. It takes about 10 minutes daily and I can do it while making a phone call or supervising bedtime tasks.
2. Change Clothes
It may seem a bit over the top, but when our oldest daughter comes home from school, she changes into “home clothes” (or pajamas if we have nowhere to be that night).
Any environmental allergens that she may have picked up on her clothes at school are removed, so she can breathe easier through the night. I’ve also noticed she has gotten sick a lot less after this small change.
This trick has the added benefit of helping keep school clothes clean and lasting longer!
3. Use a Home Air Purifier
While looking for ways to reduce allergens in the house, I found that some of the advice was a bit “out there.” For example, putting crystals on all the windows might be pretty, but I’m not sure it would actually help reduce allergens from the home.
One of the most common suggestions that I did want to try was a home air purifier. The reviews sounded promising, but was it worth the investment?
So when Philips invited our family to review the Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i, I jumped at the chance!
Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i captures and removes odors, gases and 99.97% of allergens that pass through its six filters (yes, six!) in rooms up to 454 square feet.
The color ring on the front of Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i changes color to reassure me of good air quality or let me know if the allergen level is elevated. There is also a corresponding numerical indicator, which I can check against the air quality chart in the free Air Matters app that connects to the air purifier. The Air Matters app is available for download on Google Play and the Apple Store.
If you choose to place it in the bedroom, Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i features a sleep mode for near silent operating that still delivers clean air at night.
Since I can connect to Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i with the free Air Matters app, I can control the purifier remotely without entering the girls’ bedroom and waking anyone up.
The visual cues have helped me realize when our air quality is at its best — and worst. The color ring indicator ranges from blue (good) to purple (fair) to red (poor). This was a great help while trying out the other things on this list — and noticing what things really disturbed our home air quality.
4. Ditch the Broom
Watching the air quality indicator on my Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i was revealing at times. For example, I had no idea that choosing to sweep with a broom was way worse for our air quality than using our vacuum (which has a HEPA filter).
However, it makes sense because a broom stirs up particles on the floor, but doesn’t immediately capture those particles like a vacuum does.
5. Get Rid of Rugs
While rugs and carpets can feel cozy under our feet, they can also serve as hosts to a bevy of allergens.
If getting rid of rugs and carpets doesn’t work for you, you still have a couple of options: invest in hypoallergenic carpeting (yes, it’s a thing) or have your carpets deep cleaned every season.
You can often find coupons for professional services to do this, or just rent the equipment yourself from your grocery store.
6. Remove Moisture & Mold
Moisture often leads to mold growth — and it’s not always where you think!
A few tips to manage humidity in the home:
- Proper bathroom ventilation and always running the fan during showers
- Using a dehumidifier in especially damp areas of the home, like the basement
- Ensuring ventilation systems actually exhaust the moisture out of the house, and not just to a basement or attic (which can lead to major mold growth)
- Checking the seals on all windows and doors to keep outdoor moisture from entering the home
7. Switch to Hypoallergenic Bedding & Covers
I’ll admit that I was shocked to learn that pillows should be replaced about once a year (!) and in the meantime, dust mite covers and regular linen washing should be a part of your routine.
Imagine all of the allergens your pillows could be harboring — and you put your face on your pillow for hours a day!
8. Lose the Shoes
When my friend from Canada visited last year, she immediately kicked off her shoes upon entering our house. I told her it was ok to leave her shoes on if she wanted, but my friend explained that where she lived it was customary to remove shoes at home for hygienic reasons.
Curious, I did a little research about bacteria on floors. You don’t even want to know what I found, but trust me when I say that the bottom of your shoes are carrying around a TON of yucky germs and grime.
Instead of wearing your shoes around indoors, keep a pair of house shoes or slippers handy. I actually prefer to simply rock the socks!
Our family set up a shoe basket by the front door to keep the shoes neat and tidy (and provide a casual hint for guests). If you don’t feel comfortable asking guests to remove shoes, you can also place a mat on either side of the door to encourage visitors to rub the soles of their shoes semi-clean.
9. Use the Fan While Cooking
One morning while my husband was making pancakes for the family, our Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i jumped into high gear. We usually have it set to “automatic” mode because it detects the presence of allergens in the home and responds accordingly.
At first I was confused why all of the sudden our Philips Air Purifier indicated a dramatic reduction in indoor air quality. However, when I heard the sizzle of the stove it “clicked.” My husband was cooking pancakes without running the stove fan/vent. Our Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i picked up on the smoke from cooking and started filtering our air more aggressively. How cool is that?
This was a reminder to us to always run the kitchen ventilation while cooking. Even if there’s not visible smoke, cooking still produces allergens.
Our Results Using the Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i
Managing a healthy lifestyle can involve reducing allergens, especially if you remove or reduce environmental triggers.
The first time I plugged in our Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i, the color ring went straight to red, indicating poor air quality. Yikes!
However, within a few hours, the color ring went from red, to purple, to blue. In a short time, the Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i dramatically improved the indoor air quality in our home.
My favorite feature is the ability to control the air purifier from my phone with the Air Matters app. I can check the air quality in our home, as well as the outdoor air quality where we live. You can even check air quality around the world – perfect for traveling!
It’s been a couple weeks since we started using the Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i, and I’m impressed with the change it’s made at home. Everyone seems to be resting easier already!
Click here to purchase the Philips Air Purifier Series 5000i and reduce the allergens in your home too!