Spring is in the air, and while the flowers are in bloom, your sinuses might be inflamed. According to the University of Cape Town (UCT) Lung Institute, 20-30% of South Africans suffer from pollen allergies – and their suffering is only going to intensify over time, as pollen counts are predicted to quadruple in the next 20 to 30 years.
To try and relieve some suffering, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, recommends that allergy-prone homeowners make some simple modifications to their home to limit the amount of dust and pollen floating in their airspace. “As a bonus, when it comes time to sell the property, these modifications can often be used as unique selling features that can help towards marketing the home,” Goslett suggests.
Below, RE/MAX of Southern Africa provides some suggestions on how to allergy-proof your home:
Remove Dust Collectors
The main objective indoors is to try and limit the amount of pollen- and dust-collecting objects in your home. For example, where possible, replace all carpets with wooden flooring or tiles. Thin vertical blinds that are tricky to dust ought to be replaced with roller blinds that are easily wiped down. Homeowners should also avoid open shelving stacked with knick-knacks that collect dust.
When it comes to temperature controls, rather than leaving your windows open for cool air, invest in an air-conditioning unit with a HEPA filter. These filters trap and neutralise dust and pollen from outdoors, minimising the number of irritants floating around your home. If you cannot afford one, try and keep your windows closed when pollen counts are highest (usually in the early-morning and late evening hours).
It is possible to lower the pollen count in your home by filling your garden with low-allergy plants. Avoid plants with fine, lightweight particles that are blown about by the wind. Instead, find plants with sticky pollen (the kind that bees carry from plant to plant) as this will reduce the amount of pollen floating in the air. If possible, replace grass with artificial lawn. Alternatively, install pavement around the perimeter of your home, keeping the grass patches as far away from windows and doors as possible.