ROANOKE, Va. – Many of us battle allergies this time of year.
One of the first steps is to reduce your contact with allergy triggers -- both outside and in your home.
"My throat gets really itchy, my ears get itchy, my eyes get really dry and itchy," said Melinda Montanaro.
She loves keeping her windows open to let in fresh air -- but that's not all that's coming in.
"There's usually a layer of pollen collecting on my kitchen countertops," Montanaro.
Whether allergens come from outside the house or in, Consumer Reports says to put your appliances to use to eliminate them.
Keep pollen out by closing the windows, and use your air conditioner to cool your home instead. The A/C can also cut humidity, limiting the growth of mold and dust mites -- but be sure to clean the filter regularly.
Wipe out dust mites from your bedding by using the sanitizing cycle on your washer which uses extra heat that can kill mites. An extra rinse cycle can remove even more allergens.
Use your vacuum weekly to pull dust mites, mold, pollen and animal dander out of your carpets. And be sure to choose one with a HEPA filter that traps small particles and keeps them from going back into the air.
"Emptying dust from a bagless vacuum can release particles back into the air -- so if you have a vacuum with a bin, take it outside to empty it," said Sue Booth with Consumer Reports.
A portable air purifier can also help filter pollutants in your home.