ARCADIA, WI--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2013) - It's spring. Flowers are blooming. Warm breezes are blowing. Backyard barbeques are in full swing. While that may sound inviting to some people, it's the time of year that makes allergy sufferers cringe. From the sniffling and sneezing, to the itchy, watery eyes -- spring can be a tough time of year for many.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, about 18 million adults and 7 million children have been diagnosed with hay fever in the last year.
"Creating a home that's comfortable for the entire family goes far beyond just choosing the right furnishings and décor -- it's also important to make it welcoming to those who suffer from allergies," says Brenda Dillon, VP of Merchandising. "In just a few simple steps, you can start to turn your home into an allergy-free zone."
Ashley Furniture HomeStore offers seven things you can do to cut down on the number of indoor allergens:
1. Start spring cleaning. Make sure you keep your window coverings, shelves, flooring and furniture free of allergens by dusting and vacuuming about twice a week. But make sure you dust with a damp or treated cloth that attracts dust rather than sending it flying around the room; otherwise it can make your allergies worse. Wearing a face mask isn't a bad idea. Also, try to minimize clutter in your home, since it tends to collect dust.
2. Change your bedding. While you probably already wash your sheets at least once a week, don't overlook the other allergy magnets in your bedroom! Dust mites and allergens love to settle into bedding, pillows, and throws. If possible, wash them at a temperature that's 130°+ and dry them in a hot dryer. Choosing organic materials like cotton is also less likely to trigger allergies. As for pillows, they need to be replaced about every year and mattresses about every seven years. If that's not realistic for you, use allergen-proof covers.
3. Hit the shower. Allergens stick to fabrics like glue. Just sitting on the couch, the floor or on your bed after spending time outside literally brings the outdoors in. Taking a shower or bath as soon as you come home gets rid of the allergens that stick to your skin and hair. If you have a pet that spends a lot of outdoors, give them baths often, as well.
4. Switch to an allergy-friendly mattress. Did you know that a latex mattress is an excellent choice if you suffer from seasonal allergies? Not only is it a naturally hypoallergenic, renewable and eco-friendly material, it's also bacteria, mold, mildew and dust-mite resistant. Choose an allergy-friendly foundation, as well, that does not have an area for dust and bugs to dwell in.
5. Close the windows. It may be tempting to let in some fresh air -- but it's filled with allergens! Keep your windows and doors closed (especially between peak allergy hours: 10am-4pm) use your air conditioner or a dehumidifier, and change your air filters regularly.
6. Purify. Reduce dust and pollen by using an air purifier in your bedroom, home office, living room and other areas where you spend a lot of time. Do some homework and choose one with a HEPA filter that removes a range of particles, allergens and chemicals.
7. Change your landscaping. Head to your local nursery and get a list of plants/flowers that are allergy friendly and replace high-pollen producers that can aggravate your allergies.
For other smart design and decorating ideas, or to browse the hottest new furniture collections and accessories, visit AshleyFurnitureHomeStore.com.
About Ashley Furniture HomeStore
Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the #1 furniture retailer in the United States, delivers furniture and mattresses to customers at over 450 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Japan. Ashley Furniture HomeStore is an exclusive provider of furniture from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., the largest furniture manufacturer in the United States. "Like" Ashley Furniture HomeStore on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or see their design-focused boards on Pinterest.