The air inside our homes can be two to five times as polluted as the air outside—bad news, especially for the more than 20 percent of us who suffer from allergies. And research suggests that that percentage is increasing steadily. “For one thing, climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels have created an environment that’s more hospitable to the growth of allergens such as mold,” says Jay Portnoy, MD, director of allergy, asthma and immunology at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. “What’s more, we’re living in cleaner indoor environments these days, so our immune systems go into overdrive when we’re exposed to something unfamiliar, like dust mites or fur.” That’s guaranteed torment for a lot of us, who have spent most of the last few months indoors. The goods news is there’s a lot you can do to eliminate them.
Install a ventilation fan; run it during every bath and shower to reduce mold-friendly moisture. At the very least, leave the bathroom door ajar or crack open a window. Mold also thrives in damp corners, so once a week, wipe around the sink, tub and toilet.