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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

Spring Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Spring is in the air, but that means so is plant pollen. For many, spring indicates the start of something fresh and new, but for allergy sufferers, it is the start of wheezing, coughing, and other dreaded symptoms. However, with some simple spring cleaning, you can banish many allergens lurking in your home and pave the way for a happier and healthier season.

One great way to spruce up your home is by decorating with plants. Before you go running for the tissues, consider buying some air-purifying plants that are a great way to refresh the room, while adding a spring-like touch. According to a recent article in DNAinfo, aloe and spider plants are the way to go to bring a bit of relief so that you can enjoy the warmer weather.

While you are redecorating, throw away that old shower curtain! If you are using a vinyl shower curtain, it is easy for soap scum to build up on it. Try switching to nylon, organic cotton, or polyester that can be easily washed.

If you are allergic to mold, the fridge can be a hidden enemy. Make sure there are no hidden leaks, which can lead to mold build up, and that old food is disposed of, making room for all the delicious in season fruits and vegetables. 

With just a few simple tips, you can alleviate your allergy symptoms and make your household a place of calm and comfort.

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Do Air Purifiers Kill Dust Mites

 

Dust mites, a common cause of allergies and asthma world-wide, are tiny, microscopic creatures related to the spider. Although they can survive in all climates, they thrive in warm, humid places and prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Favoring humidity levels of 75-80, they feed on dead human and animal skin cells and are often found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture.

Since these organisms are 0.25–0.3 millimeters in length, which is invisible to the naked eye, they float into the air when anyone vacuums, walks on carpet, or disturbs bedding. Once airborne they can easily be inhaled, ingested and trapped on your body. Although some people do not have a reaction to dust mites and their feces, as many as 20 million people in the United States suffer from allergies or asthma; so many have asked: Can you get rid of dust mites, and if so, how?

Health Concerns

Some signs that you might be allergic to dust mites are:

•    Runny nose
•    Itchy eyes
•    Watery or red eyes

•    Sneezing

•    Congestion of the nose
•    Coughing
•    Post nasal drip
•    Pain and pressure in the face
•    Itchy nose and throat
•    Difficulty sleeping
•    Swollen eyes
•    Puffy, bluish skin under the eyes
•    Rubbing of the nose, typically in children

If a dust mite allergy persists and triggers asthma, a person may also experience:

•    Tightness or pain in the chest
•    Trouble breathing
•    Wheezing
•    Shortness of breath and coughing that interferes with sleep

How to Control Dust Mites and Manage Your Symptoms

By following a few precautionary steps, you can reduce your symptoms and minimize your exposure to these unwanted guests in your home. Here are a few solutions:

1.    Dust mite covers are recommended to help prevent the spreading of dust mites in your home. To keep them out of the bedding, you can cover your mattress, pillows, and box spring with a fabric that has pores small enough to keep dust mites and their waste products out.

2.    Wash your bedding, as well as the pillows, comforters and mattress pads with hot water, preferably over 130 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill dust mites. Once a week is recommended, and if hot water is not available, using a special laundry detergent that can kill dust mites at any temperature is recommended.

3.    If washing your items is not feasible, i.e pillows, delicate fabrics and stuffed animals, place them in a large plastic bag and in the freezer for up to 48 hours. This extreme temperature will kill dust mites.

4.    Since dust mites are fond of humid environments, operating a humidifier to keep your humidity levels at 50 percent or less will help stop them from multiplying. It’s ideal to keep your humidity at 35 percent, although very low humidity may be uncomfortable for some people.    

5.    Clear your home of clutter. This could mean the corner with your childhood stuffed animals, or your blanket fort, complete with a pillow pyramid. Areas that are not well maintained can become a breeding ground for dust mites, so keeping your home, especially those areas that are carpeted, as neat as possible can help keep dust mites under control.

6.    Vacuuming properly is crucial to keeping dust mite populations down in each room, especially those that have carpeting. The problem with most vacuums is that they cannot capture particles as small as dust mites, so after sucking them out of the carpet, they quickly and easily, return back into your environment. A vacuum with a HEPA filter will not only trap dust mites, but it will actually pick up their waste and eggs as well.

7.    Dust mites and their waste products are weightless, so they can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time. Operating an air purifier with a true HEPA filter will pull in the microscopic particles into the filters so that they are no longer airborne. For an extra added oomph, the MinusA2 has a Customized filter, called the Germ Defense, that’s been specially designed to trap and reduce dust mites, as well as mold spores and other particles.

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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An Air Purifier May Be the Answer for Allergy Sufferers

If you suffer from allergies, you know that springtime brings more than just warm weather. It also brings air that makes you itch, sneeze, cough, and twitch. While you may not be able to combat the outdoor air, an air purifier is an easy way to clean up your indoor spaces where you spend most of your time.

What Is an Allergy?
An allergy is the body’s overreaction to an outside substance. When you have an allergic reaction, your immune system tries to fight off the foreign material, causing sneezing, wheezing, nasal discharge, coughing, and itching of the skin or airways.

Mild allergies can cause considerable discomfort, but serious sufferers may experience chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma or sinusitis. In severe cases, allergies can even be fatal. An allergic reaction may be caused by an insect bite or a certain food, drug, or synthetic substance. However, the most common allergic reactions occur from airborne particles.

Air and Allergies
Breathable air is primarily composed of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon gases. The air is also filled with unnatural byproducts from burning fossil fuels, as well as natural substances like pollen from trees and grasses. These particles cause major discomfort for allergy sufferers. Rhinitis and sinusitis are two of the most common allergic diseases. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from one or both conditions.

The Allergic Defense
The human body naturally resists airborne particles in attempt to prevent them from entering your lungs. Your nose and trachea, for example, are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. These hairs serve to filter and trap particles before they enter your body. The walls of your airways also produce mucus in order to keep the pathways moist enough to collect particles that are passing through.

Under normal circumstances, these defense mechanisms work behind the scenes. If you suffer from allergies, however, your system goes into overdrive and mistakes natural particles for foreign substances. This triggers the release of histamine, which is the body’s natural inflammatory response. The blood vessels begin to dilate and the airways produce an excess amount of mucus. This is when the itching, coughing, and sneezing begin.

Cleaner Air Means Milder Symptoms
Allergies affect people worldwide, especially during the spring season when flowers are blooming and the pollen count is high. While there are plenty of anti-histamine medications that help slow these defenses, you may find that cleaning the air in your living spaces gives you the best relief. By filtering your air before you breathe it, you are exposed to a much lower amount of defense-triggering particles. Air purifying units draw in polluted air from indoor spaces and trap those particles and contaminates onto micro filters. Some systems even incorporate several layers to make filtration more effective.

Moreover, many air purifiers use HEPA filters, which are held to strict government standards. Made of stainless steel, a true HEPA filter traps 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 micrometers.

Buying an Air Purifier
Allergy sufferers looking for an effective air purifier should consider the following:

  • Choose a purifier that is designed to run continuously. This is the best way to ensure your air is always clean.
  • Use a HEPA filter to trap smaller particles.
  • Ensure a high CADR rating for larger areas.
  • Go for high efficiency. Most allergy suffers do best with an air exchange rate of at least 4. This means your room’s air is being cleaned every 15 minutes.

Clean air means a better way of life, especially for people with allergies. Modern air purifiers are a great way to fight these conditions before they even begin.

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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Using an Air Purifier for Pets and Pet Dander

 If you’re like many Americans, your pets are as much a part of your family as the kids. They love you unconditionally, they think you can do no wrong, and they seldom roll their eyes at you. While their furry little selves can be a comfort to their humans, they can also have quite the impact on the air quality inside your home. Over 60 percent of households today include pets, with many of the animals spending all or at least part of their time indoors. Since our furry friends clearly aren’t going anywhere, the next best bet for an animal lover is the use of an air purifier throughout the home.

Breathing Easy

When people have allergies to animals, it is not the actual hair they are allergic to but the dander from discarded skin cells or fluids secreted by the animal that attaches to the hair. These are the actual allergens causing the reaction, however it is so small that we often assume that the larger particle that we can see, the pet’s hair, is the cause. The dander can adhere to just about any object throughout the house, including furniture, walls, carpets and other flooring. The animal doesn’t need to be in close contact to the area where the allergens land as the small particles can be airborne for quite some time. The fluids are often produced through urine and saliva and can remain on surfaces and in areas where there has been contact. Both the fluids and dander easily attach themselves to a pet’s coat.

Dander and the allergens in fluid are both micro in size and can be difficult to eliminate. A person cannot locate them with the naked eye and so often doesn’t even realize the severity of the issue in their home. It can take reoccurring respiratory ailments or allergy attacks before many realize the source of the issue is in their own living space. Asthma sufferers can be affected greatly by this. About a quarter of those with asthma have allergies to animals or have severe sensitivities, which can result in tightening of the chest and wheezing when they come into contact. Since dander can remain in the air for a while, cleaning surfaces have no effect on removal of many of the allergens. Air purifiers work specifically to remove these small particles from the air, decreasing the occurrence of both respiratory and dermal ailments.

Due to its lightweight size, dander is easily transferred. Even if you do not have pets, there is likely dander in your home, as well as in public spaces that you frequent such as schools, stores, offices and hospitals. Petting, holding or being licked by an animal is a surefire way to become a vehicle for it but even visiting an area where dander has been present can result in the same. The airborne particles can attach to ­hair and clothing, moving into your personal space with you none the wiser.

Removing Odors

Pet odors don’t just come from having dogs and cats. Birds, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even fish at times can create strong and unwelcome odors in your home. A quick fix is to use a deodorizer or air freshener that is sprayed throughout the room containing the offensive smell. Unfortunately, that technique simply masks the problem without eliminating the cause. In addition, you are often spraying chemicals and newer – albeit prettier smelling – pollutants into your living space. Using an air purifier can get to the root of the problem, removing the actual odor causing particles. ­­

Traditional Cleaning

While traditional cleaning methods do make an impact on the air quality of your home in relation to pet dander and the allergens that come with it, it may not be the impact you are thinking. When you vacuum or dust, large surface pollutants may be removed but many times allergens that are too small to be visible are sent flying. Disrupting areas in your carpet where dander has settled can actually increase the amount of allergens that become present in the air you and your family then breathe. Coupling traditional cleaning methods with a filtering system assists in removing these disrupted particles from the air quickly before they find their way into your lungs.

How Purifiers Can Affect Your Pets

Having an air purifier in the home can be as advantageous to your pets as to the human residents. It is not uncommon for animals to have allergies themselves and removing allergens from the air can help to reduce their symptoms, such as scratching, biting, or licking their paws and legs. Animals, especially those of the smaller variety, can also be sensitive to chemicals released from cleaning products and synthetic fragrances. Mold particles can also cause detriment to your furry friend. When pollutants are removed from the air, their respiratory system benefits much in the same way yours does.

Having pets in your home should be a positive part of your life without causing worry as to how their dander is affecting your indoor air quality. Making a simple change such as placing an air purifier in your home can help you and your pets breathe easy and maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle.

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Who Does Indoor Air Quality Affect the Most?

The quality of outdoor air gets a lot of attention, especially in the media. Individuals and organizations are constantly on a quest to improve air quality and hopefully alleviate many health issues as a result. Although it is important to improve the quality of outdoor air, it is just as important to make sure your indoor air is as healthy as possible by using air purifiers and practicing clean habits. If you think about it, your home is supposed to be a place of refuge and safety from the world, but if your indoor air quality is bad it could cause even more significant damage to your health than outdoor air.

Factors that Affect the Indoor Air Quality
There are many different factors that affect indoor air quality, including cleanliness, environmental factors, pet dander, inadequate venting, presence of mold and other airborne contaminants, and habits of occupants (such as smoking). Some homes have relatively clean indoor air, while others may be full of pollutants that can negatively affect the health of the occupants. Although poor-quality indoor air is unhealthy for everyone, there are some individuals who are much more susceptible to polluted indoor air, including:

  • Individuals with asthma
  • Children
  • Elderly individuals
  • Pregnant women
  • People with cardiovascular disease
  • Smokers
  • Those with compromised immune systems due to sickness, lifestyle, or nutrition deficiencies

Here is a brief explanation of why the first three groups of people on this list are particularly vulnerable to pollutants in the air.

Individuals With Asthma
People who suffer from asthma are more vulnerable to air-borne pollutants because their lungs are already compromised in their ability to function properly in the best conditions. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes the airways to become inflamed and narrowed. This leads to mild, moderate, or severe difficulty with breathing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people with the most severe forms of asthma to die from lack of oxygen during an asthma attack. If indoor air is filled with pollutants, it can cause further irritation to the lungs and may trigger an asthma attack or worsen the symptoms.

If anyone in your family has asthma, it is very important to keep the air as clean as possible. Air purifiers can help significantly in making the air in your home more pure and safe for asthmatics to breathe.

Children
Children are frequently more sensitive to many different environmental toxins than adults. Some air pollutants may cause children’s lungs to develop improperly, depending on the age of the child and their unique health conditions. Specific pollutants to worry about include tobacco smoke, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, pesticides, and particulate matter. Air purifiers should be placed directly in the bedrooms of children who have asthma, immune system deficiencies, bronchitis, allergies, or any other illness or condition that makes them especially susceptible to air pollution.

Elderly Individuals
People who are age 65 and older are often more vulnerable to a wide variety of illnesses and diseases because their aged bodies do not work as effectively as younger bodies. As the body declines, it is less effective at eliminating chemicals and impurities, which makes older individuals particularly vulnerable to harmful pollutants in indoor air. Older individuals may have a more difficult time recognizing when indoor air is harmful, because they are less likely to experience common effects to irritation from air-borne irritants, including runny noses and itchy eyes.

If your grandparents are living with you, or if you are an older individual yourself, it is advised that you set up at least one air purifier in your home. An air purifier removes impurities and particles from the air and causes them to become trapped in its filter. If you suspect that your indoor air is not as clean as it could be, you should invest in an air purifier as soon as possible.

Let us help you select the perfect air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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Longevity and Air Purifiers

Most people try to take action to live longer, healthier lives. Often, a few simple investments go a long way. Just reaching for fresh fruit instead of fast food can help ward off health complications associated with obesity, or even going for a walk every evening instead of watching television can make a substantial impact over time. Just like with these simple changes, the benefits of using an air purifiers can be much more than just making the air in your home cleaner. The right air purifier can actually help you to lead a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Get Rid of Human Carcinogens While You Sleep
Almost everyone is aware of how dangerous cancer can be. Different indoor pollutants such as wood dust and leather dust can act as human carcinogens. Additionally, harsh cleaning products are also labeled probable carcinogens by the American Cancer Society. Cancer is a leading killer of Americans, and a few simple measures can help to reduce the risk of getting the disease. Taking a few preemptive measures to stay healthy now can help reduce the likelihood that you will need more serious treatments later on. Although nothing can prevent cancer completely,  you can tip the odds in your favor by wearing sunscreen every day, eating healthy food, exercising, and ensuring that your home has good air quality.
    1. Cleaning Products Can Be Part of the Problem

    It is easy to get caught in a Catch-22 when keeping your home clean. Harsh cleaning agents can get rid of harmful pollutants indoors. However, cleaning agents can be just as harmful, if not more harmful, if they are allowed to become concentrated in the air without proper ventilation. An air purifier is an easy way to get rid of the majority of harmful indoor pollutants without harsh cleaning regimens. Natural cleaners are not as strong as some counterparts, but they can be just as effective at combating indoor pollutants when used in conjunction with an air purifier.

    1. Know How Serious Allergies Can Be

    Millions of Americans suffer from allergies, though when the symptoms are mild it is easy to brush them off as mere annoyances. However, indoor allergies can escalate. Instead of just occasional sneezing and watery eyes, indoor allergies can cause more serious conditions such as hay fever or to respiratory ailments. Simple sinus problems such as mild nasal drip can also lead to more serious conditions over time. Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid all allergens. However, it is possible to get numerous allergens out of your home without using harsh chemicals. Breathing easier may help to get you feeling better, and both are essential for good physical and emotional well-being.

    1. Respiratory Problems Lead to More Serious Issues

    Chronic respiratory illness due to poor air quality is more than a pain to deal with. It can actually shorten your lifespan even if it is not deadly. Often, a seemingly mild respiratory illness such as chronic nasal drip can diminish quality of life to the point where your health is at risk. Frequently, people who chronically feel lousy develop a host of other issues. Chronic illness and allergies can impact sleep, exercise patterns, and eating patterns. In the end, a simple issue can be the root of major health problems.

    1. Debt, Depression, and Longevity

    One crucial item that is easy to overlook when you want to live longer is your financial situation. Debt has been linked to depression, and depression is an illness that can shorten your lifespan in more ways than one. Poor eating habits and sleeping habits are key indicators of clinical depression, and both can diminish your overall quality of life. Additionally, mental illness is often prompted by chronic discomfort and chronic pain, even if the pain is mild. Clinical depression is treatable. However, it can be preventable in some cases. Often, it is a good idea to identify long-term solutions to the root of the underlying problem before things get out of hand.

    Other symptoms associated with debt from medical bills and hospital visits include high blood pressure and heart problems. Additionally, about half of adults in debt report symptoms of severe depression. Living long and living well are linked. Sometimes, it is important to think of easy things you can invest in to boost your quality of life before bills start piling up and depression sets in.

    1. Feeling Healthy and Active Without a Large Time Commitment

    It is not realistic for everyone to dedicate hours every day to working out. Life can easily get in the way of the best wellness plans. However, there are some easy ways to promote good health without a large financial investment or time commitment. An indoor air purifier can help solve numerous problems including lack of sleep, poor quality sleep, chronic illness, and depression. Ironically, health plans that are too much to handle can cause more stress and actually adversely impact your health.

    Think of different ways to make your home a healthier place to live without having to embrace a major lifestyle change. Almost no one wants to replace a living room set with a stationary exercise bike. Similarly, you might not be ready to ban certain foods from your pantry at all times. However, breathing easier and living better will not interfere with your lifestyle.

    1. The Secret to Living Longer

    Prevention is crucial when living a longer, healthier life. One of the most important things to think about is actually preventing disease and distress. Instead of waiting until a problem arises, take reasonable measures to reduce risk. Disease can happen to anyone. However, you can do a few simple things to put the odds in your favor.

    Investing in a quality air purifier for your home can help to improve your quality of life, and to help reduce allergies, asthma, and other respiratory complaints. Instead of driving yourself and your family crazy, take simple, easy measures to live a longer and healthier life. Live your life to the fullest, and do not let the pursuit of health take over. Invest in a few simple changes, and enjoy a long and happy life.

    Let us help you choose the proper air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Simply contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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    Controlling Winter Allergies

    WinterWhen we think of allergy season, the image brought to mind is often of flowing plants and pollen or the dry leaves of fall.  Yet allergies can happen all year round, even during the months of winter. Often winter allergies get mistaken for being cold or flu symptoms and do not get properly treated, making sufferers go longer without relief.   Here are a few tips on how to reduce allergies during the winter.

    Control Humidity at Home
    Cold winter months means that we spend more time indoors, thus making our homes warmer and more comfortable.  Make sure to check water heaters and pipes regularly for signs of leaks, and if you cannot resist the urge to warm up with long baths or showers, be certain to run fans and ventilate the room once you are done so that mold does not have a chance to grow.

    Decorate Without Dust
    While it might be easier to pull last year’s tinsel and lights from their boxes and straight onto the tree, doing so might introduce a lot of unwanted dust into your home.  Unpack boxes away from carpet and upholstered furniture, and make sure to give everything a good dusting before putting it festively on display.

    Beware of Guests Bringing in Pollen Along with Presents
    Although many guests will be courteous and wipe their shoes before entering a home, the truth is that we bring pollen, dust, and pollutants inside on more than just our feet.  Our hair and clothes can pick up these tiny pollutants and transfer them inside.  Allergy sufferers are often advised to shower and put on a clean change of clothes after coming home, but when guests come to call, this is not an option.  Instead, if you have lots of family and friends coming to celebrate, make sure to clean more than usual by vacuuming carpets and upholstery, cleaning sheets frequently, and capturing any pollen that escapes by running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter.

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    Tips for Reducing Allergies While Gardening in Fall

    Identify the Allergens
    Knowing the primary causes for outdoor allergies is an important step in keeping your symptoms down and your spirits up.  With the changing of the seasons, different plants come into bloom, so there are new sources of pollen in the air to make you sniffle and sneeze.  Ragweed is a common allergen in the fall, and it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to making allergies flare up. Learn to identify ragweed and make sure to remove it from your yard on sight.  Other weeds and mold are also lurking around in fall, so removing weeds frequently will not only make your yard look its best, but will help you to breathe better in the long run as well.

    fall leaves Garden Smart
    Make a plan before you get to work on your garden to ensure that you are protecting yourself as much as possible from allergies.  Keep track of daily pollen counts to see when they are highest, and make sure you avoid spending time outdoors during those times, even if it means working during odd hours. Wearing the right clothing can help as well to keep allergens off your skin.  Make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, and gloves to prevent as much contact as possible.  If you know your allergies are more severe, consider taking an antihistamine before going outside so that you can help stop symptoms before you start.

    Keep it Outside
    Once your hard work is done, resist the urge to flop right down on the couch to enjoy a break.  After being in the yard, you’ll be tracking in pollen and mold on your clothing, shoes, and even in your hair, and they will just transfer to any surface you touch.  Instead, relax by taking a warm shower and wash allergens down the drain.  Keep windows closed and sealed to keep pollen and mold from coming in, and run a good HEPA air purifier like our MinusA2 to eliminate any pesky allergens that do make it inside.  With planning and awareness, you can keep your yard looking great and yourself breathing better all throughout the season.

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    Allergy Proofing Your Home

    Home Your home should be your castle, yet if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies or asthma, home can feel more like a prison of sneezing, wheezing, and sniffling.  Indoor air quality is often much worse than outdoor air quality, causing sufferers to have frequent and frustrating allergic and asthmatic reactions at home, particularly during high pollen seasons. Here are a few suggestions on how you can improve indoor air quality to help you sleep better, breathe easier, and enjoy being at home.

    Remove Carpets, Drapes, and Rugs
    Plush carpets and thick fabric drapes may seem luxurious, but they are prime places for dust and other airborne pollutants to settle.  Replacing them with hardwood floors and easily cleanable blinds can significantly reduce the amount of pollutants in your home.

    Add an Air PurifierMinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Edition Once you have removed the places that allergens like to settle and hide, keep them from circulating through the air by adding an air purifier with a true HEPA filter.  An air purifier like our MinusA2 will not only filter out pollens, but it can trap dust, mold spores, harmful chemicals and unpleasant odors as well, making it useful all throughout the year, even after allergy season is over.

    Keep it Clean
    Keep harmful pollutants from coming back by setting up a thorough cleaning routine and using products designed to keep allergens at bay.  Keep floors and furniture clean by using a vacuum with a true HEPA filter, and learn to love breaking out the duster and wiping down bookshelves, tables, and any other places dust might settle.  Wash your bedding frequently and think about using a special mattress cover to keep away dust mites for an easier time sleeping.

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