Your home should be your safe haven, but if you’re an allergy sufferer, it might actually be the source of your misery. Check out the interactive home tour, below, to see where in your house different allergens can lurk. And then follow the tips provided to do what you can to rid your house of any nasty molds, dust mites, and more that make your allergies act up.


Windows: Pollen granules can infiltrate your home through improperly sealed windows. Caulk and seal your windows to stop the infiltration! Then choose the “circulate” setting for your home and auto-air-conditioning system to avoid introducing outside air containing airborne allergens

Under the Couch: Dust mites can’t be drowned, so the most effective way to get rid of them is to reduce the amount of dust in your home (shock!). Use a damp mop and damp cloth under furniture (like the couch) and on floors, windowsills, window-blend slats, bedsprings, and other areas that act as dust mite catchers.

Carpets: Teeny, tiny pollen granules are produced in such high quantities that they can travel through the air for miles. If you’re pollen-sensitive, you need to do what you can to avoid it. Removing carpeting and area rugs is a good place to start. This also helps reduce the amount of dust—another allergen—in your home.


Pet Bowl: The major allergen from animals is not their fur but proteins secreted by skin glands that are found in dander, in the saliva that sticks to fur when the animal ticks itself, and in the animal’s urine. No need to get rid of your furry friend through! To keep allergies to a minimum, bathe your pet weekly, which will help remove dander. Also wash your face, hands, and arms after grooming or playing with pets.


Bed: Dust mites (or, rather their waste) can be major allergens. Wash all bedding in hot water weekly to reduce the dust mite population, Use a damp mop and damp cloth under furniture (like the couch) and on floors, windowsills, window-blind slats, bedsprings, and other areas that act as dust mite catchers.

Upholstered Chair: Any upholstered furniture can be a mecca for allergens—like animal dander. To reduce the amount of allergens on your upholstered chair. Keep your pets off it!

Fireplace: Mold, a light and easily transportable allergen, can cling to tree bark. Before you start a fire or even bring wood inside, check the bark for mold. If it’s showing signs, ditch it.


Shower Curtains: Mold loves wet places, so your shower is a prime hot spot for this problematic allergen. Use mold-killing solutions in bathrooms and shower stalls, on bathrooms tiles, shower curtains, and around the bathtub and toilet tank.

The Air: Mold thrives year-round indoors—especially in humid places, like your bathroom. Use exhaust fans to reduce the humidity level and make it a less hospitable place for molds to live. Also, consider replacing carpets in this room with tile or linoleum.


Shoe Shelf: Mold are light and transportable, and really thrive in wet and humid places. Your closet can be a major allergy culprit, especially if you’re in the habit of tossing your soaking-wet shoes in there when you come in from the rain. The best bet: If you’ve got wet shoes or clothes, make sure they’re completely dry before you put them away.


April 14, 2014