May 25, 2018
The vast majority of living things operate on a level below everyday human awareness. The smaller something is, the more easily it is overlooked.
Of course, this is probably a good thing. If we could see every microscopic, living thing, we may never feel comfortable again. For instance, your pillow is home to tens of thousands of mites. Also, one scoop of soil can contain up to 10 billion bacteria, 200,000 molds, and a hodgepodge of microscopic creatures recognized collectively as cryptozoa.
According to Dr. John Maunder of the Medical Entomology Centre, the average six-year-old pillow can contain around 40,000 mites. It’s estimated that one tenth of its weight will be made up of “sloughed [dead] skin, living mites, dead mites and mite dung.”
Try sleeping now.
Fortunately, there are ways to control dust mites and the asthma and allergy triggers that accompany them.
If you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from dust mites and allergy/asthma triggers:
If you are experiencing a dust mite allergy, speak with a doctor. The following tips are not meant to substitute a consultation with a licensed medical professional.
A tight home may be good for energy efficiency, but it can be bad for indoor air quality. If you don’t have the proper ventilation, stale air can sit in the home and make things a lot worse.
Speak with a professional HVAC contractor about the proper ventilation levels for your home.
One of the reasons why dust mite allergies flare up in summer is because dust mites thrive in humid environments. Too much humidity can encourage increase pests, mold, mildew, and dust mites.
While running air conditioners can help dry out the air naturally, it’s best to have a whole-home humidification to maintain ideal humidity levels year-round.
The great thing about whole-house humidification is that it can monitor your daily humidity levels and add or remove moisture as necessary.
Open windows, fans, and air conditioners can help with airflow, but they can also blow dust mites around the home where they enter our respiratory system.
Speak with your HVAC technician about the best air filter for your dust mite needs. The cheapest filters can only trap the largest of particles. Microscopic dust mites will pass right through without a problem.
While HEPA filters can trap dust mites, they are usually too big to fit into most HVAC systems. That’s why it’s important to speak with a professional about the best air filter for your system.
Regardless of the type of filter you use in your HVAC, make sure you are checking and changing it regularly!
We highly recommend inspecting your air filter every 30 days. Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If light cannot easily pass through the filter, it should be cleaned or replaced.
Learn more about MERV ratings and how to choose the right air filter for your home with our Air Filter Guide.
In addition to high-quality air filters, you probably also want an air purifier. Air purification technology has greatly advanced in the last decade. Speak with a professional HVAC contractor about the best purifier for you.
Consider Air Scrubber Plus to remove 99.9% of the harmful contaminants in your home.
Dust mite allergies are common for people to experience when sleeping due to the high amount of dust mites in your bed, pillows, and blankets. Cover your pillows, box springs, and mattresses with allergen-proof dust mite covers.
The fabric is so tightly woven that dust mites (and bed bugs) will be unable to get in. There are dust mite covers available for you pillows, mattress and blankets. This will improve your allergies and keep dust mites from affecting your sleep. Choose a high-quality, zippered cover that is not made of plastic.
Make it a habit to wash all your bedding once a week in hot water. This includes your pillows and blankets. Dry the bedding outside under the warm sun or in the dryer on the hot setting.
If you have stuffed animals, try to eliminate all but the most cherished ones. Be sure to wash them often in hot water.
The cleaner your house is, the less likely you are to accumulate dust mites. Regularly vacuum carpets and area rugs. Once a week is recommended especially if you have allergies.
Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA is certified for those with allergies. It’s a good idea regardless, as it allows for the vacuum to really capture all of those small particles causing indoor air quality problems.
Hardwood, linoleum, vinyl, or tile flooring are a much better than carpeting, especially if you’re one of the millions who suffer from asthma and allergies in this country.
Dust and wipe down surfaces with a damp towel or rag. Get rid of as much clutter as you can, especially where dust collects. And don’t forget to wear a dust mask.
If you haven’t checked the inside of your air ducts recently, you may want to take a gander. Usually, it’s a good idea to schedule professional air duct cleaning every 5 years or so. Professional duct cleaning helps improve air quality, HVAC performance, and facilitates a cleaner home.
It’s important to protect your household from the negative health effects of poor indoor air quality, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Learn 5 more ways to prevent allergens and pollutants in the home.