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COIT Cleaning Company Offers Tips to Combat Allergies

Toronto News, (PR) June 7, 2012

Many of our customers contact us because they suffer from spring allergies and want to minimize contact with allergens in their homes, Bob Kearn, President and CEO of COIT, said. A number of home and business cleaning practices can help, and there are also general steps allergy sufferers can take to minimize contact with allergens during the spring season.

If you suspect that you have allergies, its a good idea to consult with your primary care physician. Your doctor can help you identify allergy symptoms, determine whether or not you would benefit from a visit to an allergist, and recommend medications that will address your specific symptoms. Over-the-counter options include oral antihistamines, decongestants, and combination medications. It is important to know what the best medication is for your symptoms, and whether any medications you might take interact with other drugs or could affect other medical conditions.

To minimize allergens in the home or office, COIT suggests that homeowners ask family members and guests to remove their shoes near the entranceway. This will help prevent allergens that are picked up on footwear from being tracked throughout the home. In addition, vacuuming carpets and upholstery weekly or more often will help minimize the presence of allergens in the home. Pollen from open windows, pet dander, and other allergens can settle in carpet and furniture fibers, so regular cleaning is important. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

If you have draperies, keep in mind that they can collect dust and allergens too, so regular cleaning is important.

Maintain good indoor air quality. Spring is a good time to consider cleaning air ducts, which can collect dust, dirt, pollen, animal dander and other airborne contaminants. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system every time the furnace or air conditioner runs. Over time, they build up inside ductwork, making the air duct system a breeding ground for mold spores, bacteria, fungus, mildew and other microbes, which are then re-circulated through the home. COIT recommends that homeowners have their air ducts cleaned every two to three years.

Keep windows closed as much as possible to prevent outdoor airborne allergens from entering your home. If possible, choose air conditioners over fans for cooling; air conditioners can filter out some airborne pollen particles, as opposed to window fans (which draw pollen in). Air conditioner filters should be cleaned regularly.

If you enjoy outdoor activities, keep in mind that the air might be more pollen heavy on windy days and is often clearest just after a rainfall. Also, pollen counts are usually highest early in the morning, so if you suffer from allergies cut back on early morning outdoor activities. Shower and change clothes after you spend time outdoors, and note that clothes that are hung outside to dry might collect airborne pollen and other allergens.

If you are allergic to bee stings, avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, flower prints, or perfumes and lotions that have flowery scents and might attract bees. Always carry your medication in case of an emergency.