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Why your shades make you sneeze

Your home is where you spend time with your family and friends. It’s where you can relax and escape from the stress of the outside world. But you may find it hard to settle down if you’re constantly sneezing and having allergy flare-ups whenever you’re inside.

The problem may be the pet dander, dust, and other common household irritants that get trapped in your curtains, shades and blinds. Perhaps you have old curtains that collect dust and are too much of a hassle to take down and wash, or your shades and blinds attract dander that makes you sneeze.

To conquer your allergic reactions and feel more comfortable at home, get rid of your old shades, curtains and blinds and try these easy-to-clean window treatments instead.

Cellular shades

Cellular shades are perfect for allergy sufferers. They’re easy to clean as well as naturally anti-static and dust-repellant. Simply take your vacuum cleaner brush attachment and suck up any dust you see.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds typically collect less dust and fewer allergens than horizontal blinds because they hang straight down. Make sure you go for the vinyl or plastic vertical blinds, which repel dust and are easy to wipe down with a wet cloth.

Vinyl roller shades

Vinyl roller shades pull straight down and don’t have any folds. The smooth surface makes cleaning a breeze. When you want to spruce them up, you can wipe them down or use your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment.

Faux wood blinds

If you have real wood blinds in your home, you may notice them collecting dust. However, they are more difficult to clean since they are sensitive to water and heat. Instead, go for faux wood blinds that look just as nice and give your home a modern touch. Dampen a rag with a mild, natural cleaning solution, like equal parts vinegar and water, and run it along the blinds to clean them.

Faux wood shutters

For a classy look in your home, try faux wood shutters. Like faux wood blinds, they’re simple to maintain and can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

Aluminum blinds

Aluminum blinds, which have a special finish that keeps dust away, are a great option for people with allergies. Wipe them down with a damp cloth as soon as you see a buildup occur.

Other allergen considerations for your home

Along with installing the right window treatments, you also need to follow some best practices to keep your home allergy-free.

  • Skip the feather duster—they just spread the allergen particles around. Use a damp rag or microfiber cloth instead, along with natural, allergen-free cleaning products.
  • Find a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which will trap the dust particles and prevent them from spreading.
  • If you have pets, give them baths once every one or two weeks and brush them regularly to control shedding.
  • Install air purifiers around your home to get rid of the allergen particles. For long-term management of your home’s air quality, get an indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor.

With a little bit of planning and investment, you can ensure that your home will be a much more comfortable place to unwind.