Tips for Dust Allergy Sufferers

Dust mites are eight-legged, microscopic bugs that live off of dead human skin and pet dander in dust particles. They’re found lurking wherever dust collects—in household fabrics like pillows and blankets, on top of the fridge, under the oven, on knickknacks, and in virtually every nook and cranny of your home.

Although it’s not possible to rid your home entirely of this common indoor allergy trigger, you can find tips for helping reduce dust and the allergy symptoms that come with it below.

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The average home may collect an estimated 18 kg of dust each year.

Keep Dust Bunnies at Bay

  • Put impermeable dust mite covers on your beds, mattresses, box springs and especially the pillows.
  • Vacuum every week with a HEPA filter or double bag. And be sure to stay out of the vacuumed area for 20 minutes to allow any dust you didn’t catch to settle.
  • Dust with a damp sponge or mop regularly. A dry cloth just stirs up dust mites . Wear a dust mask and gloves while cleaning to help reduce your exposure to dust allergens.
  • Replace wall-to-wall carpets with a hard-surface floor, if possible.
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In a single gram of dust, there may be hundreds of microscopic dust mites .

Manage Moisture

  • Keep the relative humidity in your home below 50%.
  • Get an inexpensive hygrometer (humidity monitor) at the hardware store to measure your home’s humidity, so you can make adjustments when needed.
  • Place a dehumidifier in damp areas to keep humidity in check.
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Dust mites don’t drink water. Instead, they absorb water from the humidity in the air. That’s why dust mites are more common in humid areas of your home, during the summer and in humid climates year-round. However, some people find their dust allergy symptoms worsen during the winter when they spend more time indoors.

Filter Out Dust

  • Put a HEPA filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating of 11 or 12 in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. You can find the rating listed on the packaging.
  • Be sure to change the filter and have your HVAC unit inspected and serviced regularly.