Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tips to tackle the allergens hiding in your house

(ARA) - If sneezing, sniffling and coughing are frequent sounds in your house, don't worry, you're not alone in trying to find ways to stop them.

An estimated 50 million people suffer from indoor and outdoor allergies in the United States, costing Americans nearly seven billion dollars annually, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Asthma and allergy triggers - called allergens - accumulate in unexpected places throughout your home. Furniture, bedding, curtains, drapes and carpeting can each house dust mites, pet dander and outside allergens entering through the windows.

Here are some tips from appliance manufacturer LG Electronics to reduce the number of allergens in every room:

* Use washable floor mats, and run them through the laundry once a week to remove small food particles.

* Don't let damp towels pile up as mold and mites can spread quickly.

* Pet beds hold a lot of dander. Give them their own sleeping area somewhere in the house that isn't a bedroom. Wash the pet beds weekly to cut down on dander collecting.

* Make sure your wash cycle removes allergens. The LG SteamWasher with Allergiene cycle reaches a temperature of 131 F, which is recommended by the National Institute of Health to kill allergens, while still being gentle on fabrics. This cycle has been proven to remove more than 95 percent of household allergens like dust mites and pet dander from washable fabrics. It's the first washing machine to receive "asthma and allergy friendly" certification from AAFA.

In addition to reducing allergens, the SteamWasher is Energy Star rated, reducing bills as it saves consumers more than 8,000 gallons of water each year compared to conventional machines.

* Replace your mattresses every 10 years, and vacuum them regularly.

* Use washable slipcovers on couches if you have pets to help control pet dander. Run the slipcovers through a steam cycle regularly.

* Consider purchasing more products, including kids' toys and table linens, that are machine washable to help reduce the number of dust mites causing you to sniffle.

* Draperies can also harbor allergens. Use vertical blinds or other easy-to-clean window treatments, or wash and dry-clean fabric curtains once a month to keep the allergens to a minimum.

"While removing allergens like dust mites and pet dander in your house won't cure your allergies, it certainly will help you protect your family by reducing their exposure to these asthma and allergy triggers," says Mike Tringale, director of external affairs for AAFA . "By designing a special wash cycle that meets our standards, LG has created a tool that can help Americans in their efforts to reduce their exposure to allergens throughout the year."

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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