After a good surface cleaning, you may think you have said good riddance to all of the dirt and grime, but have you thought about what you cannot see? We are talking about what is not noticeable even with a black light: airborne pathogens, and their dangerous companion, allergens.
Airborne pathogens are disease- or illness-producing agents, such as viruses or bacteria that float through the air undetected. The viruses and bacteria can cause sickness through inhalation. Rhinovirus is a common contagion that leads to a cold. Streptococcus pneumoniae and parainfluenza virus are more seasonal pathogens that lead to pneumonia and the flu, respectively.
Allergens, which is any substance that causes an allergic reaction, can physically be found almost anywhere in your house. Examples include mold, cockroach feces, pet dander, dust and dust mites, and outdoor allergens like pollen. If you or someone in your family is affected, it can cost a significant amount of money for prescription asthma treatments or over-the-counter medication. Do not fret though! Here are some of Warner Service’s solutions on how to control and eliminate allergens and pathogens:
- Control dust mites by encasing pillows, mattresses and box springs in impermeable zippered plastic coverings. Wash all comforters, sheets and curtains (and stuffed toys, if you have children) in hot water once a week to get rid of any existing allergens and pathogens.
- Vacuum once or twice per week. Because vacuuming can also sweep up dust particles, consider using an HEPA, small-particle or special double bag filter to trap everything.
- Should your wallet permit it, replace your carpet with wooden floors if you have furry pets. Every time you walk across that carpet or rug, you re-release the once-stagnant allergens into the air. You should consider keeping doormats on the outside and inside of your front door (and/or politely ask guests to remove their shoes upon arrival) to prevent the spreading of outside irritants.
Expert Tip: To prevent pet dander from sticking to ventilation systems, cover vents with a thin, loosely woven cloth like cheesecloth.
- Opt for turning on your air conditioning instead of opening the windows and doors. This prevents outdoor allergens, such as pollen and mold spores from rotten wood, plants or soil, from lingering into your home. It also reduces humidity, which controls pesky dust mites.
- Reduce mold spores, moisture and dust mites by having Warner Service install a dehumidifier on your HVAC unit to control areas with constant moisture, such as bathrooms and the kitchen. Also, use an exhaust fan every time the stove is on to decrease kitchen fumes. Make sure to clean both at least once a week for results. You should also try to caulk and quickly repair any source of leaks, most commonly found in bathtubs, sinks and walls, to prevent mold from growing behind the walls.
- Change the air filters frequently. Follow the directions on the packaging for replacement requirements to get maximum usage. Regularly changing the HVAC filter will help with catching debris, hair, smoke, and dust from around your house.
If these recommendations overwhelm you, don’t get stressed. Set aside a day to caulk and repair the damaged walls, order a dehumidifier or two, and schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC unit. You could also simply change your filters, vacuum, encase your mattress and do some hot laundry. Both sets of chores will have a positive impact on eliminating pathogens and allergens from your home.
If you need help in determining the largest allergen culprit in your home, contact a specialist who can test dust samples and offer more suggestions on how to create the cleanliest environment for you and your family. At Warner service we want to ensure that you safely eliminate allergens and pathogens in your home.