Tips to reduce allergy symptoms at home

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Sick of all that sneezing? Here are some easy tips around the house to cut down your allergy symptoms.

Sick of all that sneezing? Here are some easy tips around the house to cut down your allergy symptoms.

Reducing allergies in your home is nothing to sneeze at. A good place to start is your bedding. Experts say washing your sheets weekly and drying at high heat can ease allergy symptoms.

"Hot water reduces pet dander. Dust mites will either drown or die in the hot-air cycle," said Sarah Goralski with Consumer Reports.

Cover box springs, mattresses and pillowcases with a tightly woven fabric that's dust-mite proof.

"It's also important to control the moisture in your home. Humidity at 30 to 50 percent helps reduce mites and mold," Goralski said.

The right-size air conditioner helps cut humidity. Dehumidifiers also work, but they generate heat - so save them for your basement.

Air purifiers can also be useful for removing dust and pollen. Consumer Reports tested their effectiveness in a sealed chamber.

Top-rated portable air cleaners include the Honeywell HPA300 for $250.

"If you have a heating or cooling system that is forced-air, you may want to opt for a thicker filter, which we found more effective. But they may require professional installation to accept them," said Dave Trezza with Consumer Reports.

A good choice is the $29 Filtrete Healthy Living Ultra Allergen filter, which is available online.

And don't forget - your vacuum can kick up dust and aggravate allergies.

Consumer Reports finds these vacuums are good for emissions - the Hoover Windtunnel Max for $180 and the Kenmore Elite for $350.

Allergy and asthma suffers might want to stay away from bagless vacuums, which can stir up dust.

One last tip - change out air conditioning filters regularly. It can make a big difference.
Related Topics:
healthconsumer reportsallergieshomeu.s. & worldsneezing
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