Installing a window filter
Window screens for double-hung windows that filter out pollen and dust are available from several online suppliers (search for “window air filter screen”).
These filter can keep out almost all dust and ragweed pollen. The drawback is that unlike a conventional insect screen, they won’t let breezes blow through the open window.
To install the screen, just open the window and put it in the opening as
shown. You can buy the
screens online or at some home centers. The filters are replaceable.
You can leave the screen in year round, but you’ll only need it when pollen
is aggravating your allergies. Pollinating grasses, such as orchard and
Bermuda, grow in the late spring and early summer. Ragweed, which causes
most “hay fever,” is prevalent in the late summer and fall.
If pollen is still a problem, put an air cleaner (also called an air purifier) in
your bedroom. The units work by circulating air and filtering out airborne particles
such as pollens. Choose a unit that’s made to clean a
bedroom of your size or a larger room. Be aware that while some air cleaners
have tested well at filtering out pollens, others have not. Research air cleaners in consumer magazines before buying one.
Other strategies for reducing pollen:
- Upgrade your furnace filter to a high-quality disposable filter made of
pleated fabric or paper. Or have a professional install an electrostatic
filter that’s connected to your ductwork ($700 to $1,500).
- Change your bedding weekly.
- Replace carpet with wood, laminate, tile or vinyl. Carpet is the biggest
reservoir of dust. Also vacuum area rugs weekly.
- Take couch cushions outside and beat out the dust with a tennis racket. Or
better yet, when it comes time for furniture replacement, choose leather or
vinyl upholstery rather than fabric.