Moment for Health: Spring Cleaning Combats Allergies

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This house is clean. Say it with your eyes closed. Then breathe deeply and exhale the sound “ahhh” so it reverberates against the vocal cords down into the chest. This is the spring mantra for anyone who suffers from allergies.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies affect as many as one in five Americans, and those that have it definitely know it. Red eyes, itchiness, runny nose, eczema, hives or asthma attacks are indications hypersensitivity to an allergen has triggered the immune system into those annoying reactions.

So it’s time to dust off, mop up, deep clean and air out the insides of the home for a healthier you.

Cleaning tips abound, but sometimes it’s the person who roots around deeply into the very recesses where dirt hides that provides the best advice.

Chris Novy is the top guy around for his wealth of information regarding hidden dirt. Owner of Orange Coast Chem-Dry in Newport Beach, this vibrant UCLA graduate has some helpful hints to reduce allergens in the home.

Articulate and passionate about bringing the best service and information to his customers, Novy relates how some of the most common allergens bury into carpets, upholstery and beds. It’s gruesome to note that 2,000 dust mites can live on one ounce of carpet dust; or that 10 percent of the weight of a two-year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.

Regular cleaning of carpets and floors is essential to a healthy home, especially those with pets. Many people prefer floors versus carpets to keep a cleaner and healthier home. Carpets catch the dirt and dander and keep it there until vacuumed up. But floors disperse a lot of particulates into the air every time it’s walked upon, something people rarely think about, so should be cleaned daily for those who suffer from allergies.

Deep cleaning a carpet and upholstery with a powerful machine gets rid of stains and removes even more dirt that can contribute to allergies. Novy’s business utilizes a hot carbonating extraction method that cleans without chemicals, soaps or detergents and dries within one to two hours.

This method, versus steam-cleaning, leaves a healthy impact on the home. It avoids long dry times that can play host to molds and doesn’t use harsh chemicals that can irritate the eyes, nose and skin. And it helps rid the home of allergens.

Even after getting carpets deep cleaned, the best advice for a cleaner home is to upgrade your vacuum.

“It’s essential for your health to remove different pollens and dust effectively,” recommends Novy. “Use one with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to trap 99.7 percent of airborne allergens such as dander and pollen. This type of filter also expels less dirt and allergens back into the room during vacuuming.”

A little more smarts and a little more diligence makes for a healthier environment for a healthier you.

Here are other important tips to keep the home clear of allergens:

  • Allergy-proof your bed. Cover pillows, mattresses and box springs with dust-proof covers. Wash bedding and stuffed animals weekly in hot water over 130 °F. Vacuum mattresses at least once a month and flip over every six months. Replace pillows every two years.
  • Check and replace your heating and air conditioning filters. Change air filters at regular intervals to prevent dirt and dust from remaining airborne and being distributed around the house.
  • Use door mats or area rugs in entry ways and high-traffic areas. Rugs and mats act as filters that capture and trap dirt and allergens from getting into the air and spreading throughout the home and can be easily cleaned on a regular basis.


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