This blog is from guest blogger Antonia Ludden, the founder of the UK home interior and lifestyle blog #tidylife. You can visit her site for the latest home inspiration and lifestyle tips here.
Like it or not, our homes gather a lot of dust, even the most spick and span of houses. Sometimes the design of your house can be a terrible dust magnet. For example, if there are loads of nooks and crannies; or you live in an old property with lots of architectural features, such as elaborate cornicing. Even everyday features like radiators can attract a lot of dust and then unfortunately disperse it into the air when they are heated up. This is why it is worth modernising your heating by removing dusty old radiators and replacing them with the latest underfloor heating.
If you or your family suffer allergic reactions due to house dust, here are some other ways you can try and ensure your home is more dust allergy friendly:
If you are allergic to dust, a home heated with conventional radiators may be responsible for the annoying tickle in your nose and throat. That’s because radiators work by convection, circulating air around the room and therefore spreading dust particles that can irritate and aggravate your dust allergy. By opting for underfloor heating, you can reduce the number of airborne particles and even diminish the dust mite population in your home. This is because underfloor heating radiates heat gently and evenly upwards from the floor (without convection) and creates less favourable conditions for house dust mites to thrive.
There’s no doubt that clutter can be a prime culprit for attracting dust. Think about how dust settles onto surfaces – if you have lots of furniture, books and ornaments, there are more places for it to gather. You don’t want a home devoid of sentimental items, of course, but it may help to choose furniture that is modular rather than ornate, for example.
Why not rotate your favourite ornaments to keep your decor fresh, rather than have them on show all at once? It’s also best to store items in boxes with lids, rather than open baskets where more dust is encouraged to collect on your items. A little bit of home organisation and some good storage solutions will really help manage clutter and keep dust to a minimum.
Air purifiers are a great addition to the home if you suffer from dust allergies. Designed to remove allergens from the air, they are very efficient and compact in design. As with any modern technology, they can be quite expensive to buy, but the air quality is much improved by using one – some models can remove up to 99.95% of allergens and pollutants from the air. Therefore, many people with allergies feel they are worth the investment. The latest models are quiet too, with night time modes that operate virtually silently, so you should get a really good night’s sleep.
Carpets and soft furnishings around the home are notorious for trapping dust and other allergens such as pet hair, so why not dispense with carpets and curtains altogether?
When it comes to flooring, there are so many nice, easy to clean hard floor surfaces these days that you are spoilt for choice. From real or engineered wood, laminate that looks like wood, tiles and funky vinyl – the options are pretty much endless. If that wasn’t enough, you can also install underfloor heating with a range of floorings – helping to reduce dust in your home even further.
Similarly, heavy curtains act like magnets to dust, so exchanging them for minimal roller blinds is the better option, as these are easily wiped down. Or how about window film which is frosted and adheres to your glass, giving privacy and diffusing light in a modern way?
If you are upgrading your furniture, it’s worth considering a leather or faux leather sofa and moulded plastic dining chairs rather than upholstered ones and make sure you use allergy-proof covers on mattresses, duvets and pillows in the bedroom.
Any home needs a regular vacuuming to combat dust and it is best to use one that has a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, because it will trap more dust mites than an ordinary vacuum cleaner.
It is important to not only vacuum floors but mattresses too. One of the biggest causes of allergies are those pesky dust mites – tiny insects found in household dust that particularly love to live in your mattress!
Regularly mopping and wiping down surfaces with a damp, clean mop or cloth – rather than dry dusting which circulates dust in the air – is another good idea.
If you take these steps you will take control of the dust mites in your home and should be living and sleeping more comfortably in next to no time. It is also worth talking to your doctor or local pharmacist to see if they can recommend an antihistamine medication that may help to alleviate your symptoms, too.