Did you know that you could have indoor allergies and not be aware of it? Many people get “winter colds” or cold symptoms around the changing of the seasons. Most don’t think much about it, just plow through the week and feel better. But with the pandemic, everyone is paying more attention to runny noses, coughs, and fevers, leading to more people discovering the real reason for their symptoms – allergies.
Some people think they are getting a winter cold when in reality they are allergic to their own home. The cold weather keeps you inside for more hours of the day, exposing your respiratory system to many allergens that you can’t see.
If you want to eliminate allergens in your home, you will need to take some measures, some of which will require a bit of an investment. At a minimum, you’re going to need to invest in some appropriate furniture, a good vacuum, and a better furnace filter.
A vacuum that is designed to trap allergens is extremely important. Many cheaper vacuum cleaners can release much of the allergens back into the air, especially when emptying. You’re also going to need a higher-quality furnace filter or air filtration system to trap allergens instead of cycling them back into the air. You should contact your local HVAC professional for more information about such filters.
Meanwhile, you also need to think about getting new furniture. If your furniture is older and the upholstery is worn, it is probably trapping more allergens than you could estimate. There are also certain types of upholstery fabric that are not easy to keep sterile. You need a furniture in your home that will be easy to clean and remove pet dander, dust mites, and other indoor allergens.
Below you will learn how to find a hypoallergenic living room couch that can decrease your allergy symptoms. Learn more here. First, determine if you might have indoor allergies by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have frequent nasal congestion when you lie down at night, making you feel as though one or both nostrils are plugged?
- Does your nose start running and/or your eyes water after you get home from work, but not during your commute?
- Do you wake up in the morning to crusts in the corners of your eyes?
- Are your eyes red, dry, or itchy when you are at home or inside the office?
- Do you have a frequent cough that recently developed, but doesn’t stick around the whole day?
- Has your body temperature remained normal? (Allergies don’t cause fever.)
- Do you have a sore throat, particularly upon waking, that goes away when you leave the house?
If you are like most people, you probably had to think hard to realize which of these are true. If you have answered yes to three or more of these questions, you probably have allergies rather than being ill. While you should follow up with your primary care physician soon to confirm the diagnosis and determine treatment, if necessary, there are some measures you can take to improve the air quality of your home in the meantime. Even if you are wrong and you do not have indoor allergies, you will breathe easier, sleep better, and get sick less frequently after improving your air quality. It is a worthwhile investment.
How your couch contributes to indoor allergy symptoms
There are a lot of different indoor pollutants that could be causing your allergies to flare. The most commonly known are dust mites and pet dander, but there could be much more (disgusting) things in your living room furniture.
Do you know what dust really is? Have you always wondered how dust gets in your home? Dust isn’t just dirt brought in from outside, although that can be part of the dust’s makeup. In reality, that white ashy film covering your surfaces, décor, and furnishings contains bits of flaked skin, hair, pet dander, dust mites, and decayed insects.
Now that you know what is really on your sofa, you’re probably ready to refurnish and redecorate your entire home just to get rid of that nasty dust. But this isn’t practical for most people, so you should instead take the time to vacuum and dust everything at least once per week as you work on replacing your belongings with hypoallergenic options.
What to look for in your hypoallergenic sofa
It is usually a good idea to start with replacing the sofa. The sofa isn’t given much thought by most homeowners, and it is likely the worst piece of furniture in your home, with your bed a close runner-up. If you pat the sofa in the light and you see a cloud in the beams, it is definitely time to get rid of it.
But don’t replace the sofa with another inferior couch of the same type. Instead, look for these features of hypoallergenic furniture:
- Antimicrobial foam core for all cushions
- High tech and tightly woven fibers, sealed with an antimicrobial finish to create a virtually impenetrable upholstery
- Cushion covers that can be easily stripped and/or reversed that can be machine washed on a weekly basis
- Choose inherently antimicrobial fabrics such as wool (the best option), polyester, or polypropylene
It is important that you check the care instructions for your new sofa carefully. You want to make sure that you will be able to keep the furniture clean on your own, otherwise, you’ll be spending a fortune on home cleaning services. You should be able to wash or vacuum everything on the sofa at least once every two weeks.
When replacing your sofa with a version better for those with indoor allergies, you want to make sure you are getting the right couch for the right price. Searching online is your best option for a good price, but you must read the product descriptions carefully. Make sure that any sofa you purchase meets the requirements outlined above, getting product information from other sources if necessary.