Love Your Pet, Lose The Dander
Did you know as many as 3 in 10 people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs?
Many people think that the exposure to pet hair triggers allergies however, pet hair is not an allergen. Pet hair collects dander, which is composed of microscopic flecks of skin shed by any animal with fur or feathers. Pet hair can also collect urine, saliva, and carry other allergens like dust and pollen. It’s these allergens that trigger allergic reactions. Pet allergens are very light and tiny therefore, they remain suspended in the air for a long time. They can easily stick to furniture, bedding, and clothing, and can be carried in and out of your home. Pet allergens are everywhere, including homes and buildings that have never housed pets because they are transferred so easily.
So, how can you reduce indoor allergens so you and your pet can live together comfortably?
- Establish a “No Pets Allowed” Policy in your bedroom. Keep the door closed and clean it frequently and aggressively.
- Clean House. Wipe down all household surfaces including, baseboards, ceilings, and walls with cleaner and hot water on a regular basis. When dusting, dampen your cloth a little bit. Sweeping dry dust, pushes the dander back up into the air.
- Invest in a lint-brush. Pet dander is sticky and will attach to anything, especially your furniture. Use a lint brush or roller to remove pet dander from furniture. Shampooing carpets and drapes is an effective way to control dander, since these items typically collect the most.
- Add to your laundry list. Many items like slipcovers, drapes, and rugs are machine-washable. Wash these items in hot water frequently to reduce dander.
- Wear a dust mask. Vacuum cleans stir up allergens on carpets that have settled making allergies worse. Consider purchasing a vacuum with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filters which are designed to remove allergens from surfaces.
- Bathe your pet regularly. Reduce the level of allergy-causing dander straight from the source. Remember to use only products labeled as pet shampoo. Kittens or puppies may need a shampoo safe for them. It’s best to check with your veterinarian for the best products to use.
Forced-air heating and air conditioning systems can spread allergens throughout your home. Dander, dust, and all other debris buildup on the monitors and fans. This is why we stress the importance of maintenance and system cleaning here at Burkholder’s.
As your system operates, dander and debris will also become lodged in the duct work. These contaminates accumulate over time allowing bacteria, mold, and fungus to breed. Each time your system is switched on, spores are ejected and circulate throughout your home. We recommend homeowners clean their duct work every five to seven years to help with air quality and reduce energy bills. To learn more about Burkholder’s duct cleaning services, check our duct cleaning page.