person setting a humidity monitor on a night table
Photo: Matthew Benson
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Bedrooms

Maybe Later:

55. Put in a whole-house fan. Installed in the attic or under the roof, this low-tech cooling system draws poor-quality air out and fresh air in (a boon when it's not pollen season).

56. Zip dust-proof covers on pillows and mattresses to keep mites out.

57. Swap out wall-to-wall carpet for hardwood and washable area rugs, steps that will help reduce the buildup of dust, pet dander, and other allergens.

58. Replace your mattress with one free of flame retardants. Some mattresses incorporate wool, which is naturally flame resistant.

59. Set up a humidity monitor. Aim for a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent; a higher level can trigger the growth of mildew and mites. If levels fall below 20 percent, consider a plug-in humidifier—and follow the manufacturer's care tips. Shown at left: Enviracaire's HealthCheck Monitor ($13; allergybegone.com).
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