Relaxed woman at home
Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
Allergy season is upon us, and in a big way. While there isn't much you can do about conditions outside, there's a lot you can do inside your home to breathe easy. Here are 10 ways to keep seasonal allergens at bay and make your home an allergy-free zone this spring.

Lock Out Pollen
Keep seasonal allergens outside by instituting a shoes-off policy to avoid tracking pollen into living spaces. If you spend the day outdoors, change clothes as soon as you get home and bathe before bedtime to wash away the pollen and outdoor mold spores that can cling to your hair and skin.

Banish Mold and Mildew
Most major mold problems start in the basement or crawlspace and are caused by excessive moisture that wicks its way up through the house, feeding mold and mildew along the way. So you'll want to take steps to prevent wet basements, to keep moisture levels in check and avoid mold buildup in other damp places like kitchens and baths. Do this by cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces regularly and use bath exhaust fans to remove the water vapor that can settle and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Also, launder kitchen and bath linens frequently, and be attentive to plumbing leaks that can lead to hidden mold issues.

Looking to prevent toxic mold in the home? Get Tom's 10 tips for a mold-free house.

Cut Out Carpet
For allergy sufferers, carpet is just about the worst choice for floor covering. Carpeting tends to trap and hold allergens of all kinds and is especially welcoming to dust mites. Wherever possible, replace carpet with wood, tile or linoleum flooring and use washable throw rugs for a bit of carpet-style cush. By doing so, you'll banish 90 percent of dust mites from a space!

Clean the Air
Those soothing springtime breezes also carry allergens, so if you are lucky enough to have central air conditioning, use it! Keeping windows closed and attic fans off minimizes the amount of pollens that can float into your house. You can also prevent the development of other indoor allergens like mold by keeping home humidity at about 40 percent with the help of whole home dehumidifiers and inexpensive at-home humidity monitors. Want more tips? Breathe easier with more ways to improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens.

Choose Dust-Free Décor
Just like carpet, the presence of upholstered furnishings, fabric-heavy window treatments and ornate, dust-grabbing accents can all contribute to your allergy misery. Instead of filling your home with those materials, select washable slipcovers and pillow shams, clean-lined décor and a clutter-free design.

Get 5 more allergy-fighting tips from Tom.