Help! I Think I'm Allergic To My New House!

Moving into a new home should be an exciting experience. Unfortunately, sometimes that joyous experience can unexpectedly sour. For instance, you moved into your new home only to find yourself experiencing new and unexpected allergy symptoms. You're not alone; indoor allergies plague many Canadians, but you don't have to suffer needlessly. Here are some possible solutions to your allergy problem:

1.  Have your carpet professionally cleaned.

Dust mites are a common cause of indoor allergies, and these microscopic creatures can often lurk in carpets and furniture. Thankfully, you don't need to replace your carpet to get rid of them. Instead, invest in professional carpet cleaning from a service like A One- Steamagic, Carpet and Furniture Cleaning. If you "inherited" any furniture from the previous family, it's a good idea to have that cleaned, too. Look for a cleaning service that will clean both carpets and furniture. Thorough deep-cleaning will get rid of any dust mites, pet fur, and other potential allergens that could have been left behind by your home's previous occupants.

2. Check for mold.

Mold spores are another common contributor to indoor allergies. Be sure to check around your house for signs of mold growth, which often presents as black patches. Mold is likely to grow anywhere that is damp and moist. Common hiding places are in the basement, beneath sinks, and around tile grout. To get rid of mold, first fix any leaking or dripping pipes to eliminate the cause. Then, clean the moldy surface with a diluted bleach solution. Make sure you wear gloves and a face mask while cleaning in order to avoid exacerbating your allergies.

3. Change your heater's air filter.

The air filter in your furnace should be changed every one to three months, according to Allstate. If your house's air filter hasn't been changed in a while, it may be the culprit to your allergy problems. Dirty air filters can circulate polluted air into your home, exposing you and your family to pollen, dust, and other allergens. Swapping out your house's old air filter may solve your indoor allergies.

4. See an allergist.

If all else fails, see an allergist who can give you an allergy test to find out what is causing your problems. A "skin prick test" is a test commonly used by doctors to diagnose allergies. Your doctor will scratch your skin with a small amount of many different allergens and record any reactions to determine the cause of your allergies. Your allergist can also prescribe or recommend medication that will give you relief from your symptoms.

Unexpected allergies are never a good housewarming gift. Thankfully, environmental allergies can usually be easily treated. Use these four tips to combat your allergies so you can go back to enjoying your new home without worry.