Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Two members of our household are prone for allergies. For quite some time we are trying to make the house as allergy proof as possibile. Our cat found a new house with good friends. All carpentry was removed, and so are our mattresses which are replaced by allergy-proof ones.

All these efforts had an effect, but we think that there are still allergens floating around. Is there a protocol to work through to identify most, if not all, potential allergens spots in your house?

share|improve this question
    
There are air quality tests, similar to mold testing, that tests for a few highly known airborne allergens that tend to linger. The problem is people can be allergic to nearly anything; for instance cats, every single cat produces its own specific dander. Most people allergic to cats will build a tolerance in 6-12 months but introduce another cat or swap cats and they're still allergic to the new one. –  Jason Aug 29 '13 at 10:07
2  
If you have not already, I would take the members of your household to an allergist to test and tell you what the members of your household are allergic to (so you know what you are trying to eliminate). There is no sense in wasting effort searching for and eliminating things that someone might be allergic to. Personally, I would start by removing cantaloupe and honeydew melon from the house since I am allergic to those. –  user14416 Aug 29 '13 at 12:15
1  
How clean are your carpets, if you have any? Per square inch, they hold much more dust, mites, pollen and other allergens than pretty much any other sort of flooring. Also, how often do you change your HVAC filters? Have you experimented with different filter grades? How tightly is your house constructed with respect to air leaks and exterior air infiltration? –  alt Aug 29 '13 at 16:02
2  
To add emphasis to my suggestion, a guy I know lived in his house for years with consistent bad allergies. He did a lot of things to try and avoid them (akin to what it sounds like you are doing). It turned out that he had a specific tree to whose pollen he was allergic planted right outside of his bedroom window. After he learned this information, he had the tree removed and has had significantly reduced allergy symptoms. Again, I wouldn't go removing all the vegetation from your yard based on that anecdote. It would be much cheaper to go to a doctor and find out what you should remove. –  user14416 Aug 30 '13 at 14:47
    
@statueuphemism Thanks for the input, it is much appreciated. Although we have done extensive allergy testing, we might consider a second opinion –  Andra Aug 30 '13 at 14:55
add comment

2 Answers 2

You are going to have to wet clean. You can steam walls, hire professional carpet cleaning (the ones you rent don't get that hot), spray down hardwood floors with some green cleaner, same for the bathrooms.

Clean fans super good.

Replace air filters.

Have your ducts cleaned. Use a company that hooks up a negative air machine - not one that "washes" your ducts. You probably have a ton of cat hair in there. Do your returns too.

Wash everything that you can. Blankets, rugs, bedding... anything that can go in a washer.

Steam clean - or better yet see if your carpet cleaners can clean all couches, chairs, upholstery...

share|improve this answer
add comment

You have already eliminated major sources, air filtration is the next step. Whole house filtration or room air purifiers that use hepa filers will clean the air you breath by filtering out very small particles in the air.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.