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Many of us are no strangers to allergies. But it’s not just the outdoors that trigger sneezing and watery eyes. The average U.S. home contains twice the levels of pollution than is found outdoors. Read on for some dirty secrets your home isn’t showing you, and how to get things under control. The Culprit: Upholstery & Carpets We sit on our couches and chairs every day, but how often do we think of cleaning them? Dust and dirt particles settle on these surfaces, and get pushed deeper into the fibers, the longer we go without a proper clean. Quick Fix: Consider fabric protectant for furniture. The solution will prevent stains from attaching and setting deeper into the upholstery fibers. In addition, vacuum weekly and bring in a professional cleaning service at least once a year (or two to three times if you have pets or children). All Star Health Homes Services uses a Hot Carbonating Extraction process that is both green and proven to remove an average of 98.1 percent of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery. When combined with their sanitizer, it also removes an average of 89 percent of airborne bacteria. The Culprit – Blinds & Ceiling Fans Because blinds are next to windows, they quickly collect dust and dirt particles. So do ceiling fans, and when we turn them on, the accumulated dust and dirt gets re-distributed around the house. Quick Fix: Develop a weekly habit of washing blinds and wiping off ceiling blades. For less maintenance, consider replacing blinds altogether with window shades. The Culprit – Hardwood Floors & Area Rugs Many people wrongfully assume that bare floors are cleaner than carpet, but this is not so. Similar to ceiling fans, unhealthy particles settle on hard surfaces only to get stirred back into the air, and re-distributed throughout the house, when there is activity in the room. Quick Fix: Throw down an area rug or add a doormat. Especially in high traffic areas of the home, area rugs act like big filters, trapping dust and dirt particles in their fibers and keeping them in place until you vacuum. Nylon and wool are recommended to best withstand high traffic. Have your rugs professionally cleaned to remain most effective at trapping particulates as they settle from the air The Culprit – Tile, Grout & Stone Over time, tile, grout and stone accumulate soil build up. In the bathroom, especially, moisture acts as a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Because grout is porous, it is also a hotspot for bacteria, fungus and mold. Quick Fix: Freshen the look and health of tile, grout and stone with sealant. It is generally recommended to reseal the rooms with most activity once a year, and other rooms (like guest bathrooms) every 4-5 years. All Star Healthy Home Services utilizes specialized cleaning solutions and suction equipment to effectively clean tile, grout and stone, restoring its look and improving home health. The Culprit – Heating & Air Conditioning Filters Home filters are designed to remove particulates like dust, pollen and bacteria from the air. Quick Fix: It is important to follow the directions on individual filters and replace them accordingly. This is especially essential after winter months.