You might want to think again before blaming your sniffles on just winter colds; there is a chance that it’s actually an allergic reaction.

Heating ducts circulating dusty air, coupled with minimum ventilation, create the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive, the droppings of which are a common allergy trigger. Winter also brings with it an increased dampness in poorly ventilated areas of your house (such as the basement and bathrooms), which encourages the growth of molds.

While all these allergies could be lingering close to you, there are some ways to avoid them.

1. Vacuum Your Home
Dust settling on surfaces is a breeding ground for dust mites. Clean your furniture, TV, dining table and other flat surfaces daily and have your carpets vacuumed regularly with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Air) vacuum. This will rid your house of dust mites and pet allergens.

2. Launder Your Bedding
Wash bedsheets and pillow covers weekly with hot water to get rid of dust mites. Alternatively, make a cold wash more effective by adding 1tbsp of tea tree or eucalyptus oil to combat allergens.

3. Clean Filters & Heating Units
Clogged filters and heating ducts can circulate allergens around your house. Change the filters of your heating system at least once a month. Professional cleaners can help you do this.

4. Check Humidity Levels
Many homes run a humidifier during winter, but excessive humid conditions are conducive to mold growth. Always keep humidity levels below 50 percent and tackle dampness in basements and bathrooms with a dehumidifier.

5. Ventilate Your House
It is a good idea to let some air inside the house—even on cold days. Keep your windows open for about a half-hour every day to get rid of dampness. This will also remove excess humidity, odors and fumes which can all act as allergens.

These house-care tips will not only ensure your home is allergy-proof, but also sparkling clean. Have a happy holiday!

Read More:
Are Allergies Curable?
Are Allergies Hereditary?
The Science Behind Allergies
Allergies: A Holistic View
Allergies: The Conventional View
Dos And Don’ts To Beat Food Allergies