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How to Defend Your Home Against Winter Allergens
(ARA) – The Centers for Disease Control reports roughly 50 million Americans suffer from indoor or outdoor allergies. People may experience allergies throughout the year, but symptoms can worsen when the weather changes and temperatures drop. As we begin to spend more time indoors, it’s important to be proactive in preventing indoor allergens from taking over your home.

Common triggers of fall and winter seasonal allergies include:

  • Ragweed — This plant with grayish-green leaves flourishes in dry, sunny areas. Highly allergenic, it produces large amounts of pollen that can affect allergy sufferers outside and inside a home.
  • Mold — Indoor and outdoor mold counts thrive during humid months of late summer and early fall. Outdoor molds grow in fallen leaves and other vegetation. Indoor molds can be found in damp household areas such as basements, shower stalls and under the refrigerator.
  • Dust mites — Dust mites thrive indoors and are often stirred up by dirty ventilation systems that are activated during the cooler season.

There are many different things you can do to help defend your home from problematic allergens. Some steps include:

  • Deep clean carpets
    Carpet is a refuge for pollen, dust and mold and simply vacuuming does not solve the problem. The best way to get rid of dust and dirt that has settled into carpet fibers is to clean your carpets with a carpet cleaner.
    Renting a professional strength carpet cleaner from your local American Rental Association member rental store is more affordable than purchasing one, and roughly half the price of hiring a professional cleaning service. 
  • Clean and remove dust
    Common household dust is found everywhere. On a flat surface, it will inevitably gather and irritate allergy sufferers. It is important to clean regularly so that dust doesn’t become more of an issue than need be.
    Use a damp cloth to remove dust from common surfaces such as windowsills and furniture, but don’t forget about the other areas that are not as apparent. Clean your refrigerator’s seal and water pan underneath, air vents, areas under sinks, the ceilings of showers and all fan blades.
  • Consider different flooring
    If you or a family member is sensitive to indoor allergy triggers, consider replacing carpet with tile or hardwood flooring. Tile and wood flooring is easy to clean and is less likely than carpets and rugs to gather allergens.
    Tile is popular in bathrooms and kitchens for its stylish look and versatility. Wood flooring is another option. It brings warmth and elegance to large rooms. This sleek flooring has recently gained popularity in homes and comes in a variety of wood species including oak, pine and bamboo.
    To install new flooring, you will need a variety to tools and equipment. Instead of buying expensive tools that you’ll use only for this project, rent them from your local ARA member rental store. Equipment you’ll need for tile flooring including a tile cutter or wet saw. For the wood flooring you’ll need drills, wood saws, and nail guns. You can even rent tools to help you pull the carpet up to cut down on preparation time.
  • Keep it clean
    Maintaining clean floors and carpet are first steps, but remember that dirt and airborne triggers are brought in each day so it’s best to establish a schedule and clean your home regularly.

For more ideas about how you can use rental equipment to reduce indoor allergy triggers, or to find the rental store nearest you, visit

Equipment for these tasks can be rented from American Rental Association (ARA) member rental stores. To find one, search this Web site by geographical area, and more specifically, by the type of equipment you are looking to rent.

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