The wintertime is notorious for sniffles, but not all of them are cold or flu related. Many of the sniffles our kids get around this time of year are thanks to allergens in our homes. To help better protect your family this fall, you should opt for implementing the tips below.

Replace Your Furnace Filters

Your furnace filters are there to catch unwanted harmful debris and allergens from the air in your home. However, these filters are only effective if they’re changed regularly. If you pull your filter out and can’t see throughout it, you need to change it. Each manufacturer has a suggested filter changing period. Many run every three to six months. However, realize that factors such as pets can cause your filters to require changing more often.

Allergen-Proof Bedding

When it comes to the bedding in your home, it’s a great place for housing unwanted allergens. To better protect yourself, you can opt for purchasing allergen-proof bedding materials. These are available in mattress covers and pillowcases. You can even go a step further and install allergen-proof carpeting and upholstery throughout your home.

Clean Your HVAC System

Your HVAC moves air, debris, and allergens throughout your home. While your filters are there to help collect as much harmful debris and allergens as possible, there are still some that get left behind in the ductwork. You’ll want to schedule a regular duct cleaning to help clear out those harmful allergens before you get ready to shut your home up for the winter.

Monitor Your Indoor Humidity Level

A simple humidity meter can allow you to see what the actual humidity level is inside of your home. While you may be running humidifiers in the wintertime to fight against dry skin, they can have an adverse effect if overrun. When your home is too humid, it will foster the growth of dust mites and mold. It’s recommended to keep your home humidity level at 50 percent or less.

Use a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter

It’s a good idea to upgrade your old vacuum to one with a HEPA filter. This type of filter traps a large number of allergens that other vacuum filters tend to miss. You should be vacuuming your home at least once per week. If you have pets, then your frequency of vacuuming will need to go up.

If you’re dreading the cold winter months due to the sneezing and flu, then you should take some action to prevent your family from having to deal with them. The above are five simple tips you can implement this fall to protect your family. With consistency, you’ll be able to notice a big difference in the reduction of sneezing and other cold symptoms in your home.