Have you been struggling with symptoms of allergies — like a runny nose, congestion, and sneezing — and unable to pin down a source? It might be that the problem’s hiding in plain sight: in your home. Here are 8 of the most common places you may find allergens in your home.

Allergens in the Home

1. Clothing

When the pollen count is high, you can unknowingly collect a lot of pollen on your clothes. You then bring that into your home, which contributes to allergies. Contrary to what most think, the tiny pollen particles that cling to clothing — not the large ones — are actually the source of most pollen allergy symptoms!

2. Curtains

Many people don’t think to clean their curtains regularly. They’re probably not #1 on anyone’s laundry day to-do list. But cleaning them could make a huge difference, because of the sheer amount of allergens they can harbor.

3. Bookshelves

Especially if those bookshelves have books on them, they can collect a lot of dust. Make sure you take the books off the shelf next time you dust to really get the area clean.

4. Paraffin Wax Candles

They might look nice, but these candles can actually release a lot of toxins and allergens into the air when burned. For easier breathing, look for a candle whose ingredients don’t contain paraffin.

5. Flowers

A nice bouquet adds an artful touch to any home, but they also might be why you’re suddenly sneezing so much!

6. Stuffed Animals

Ellie the elephant might look innocent, but she could be hiding a ton of dust mites, which are a major source of household allergies! If you aren’t able to machine-wash your family’s toys, putting them in the freezer for 24 hours will kill the dust mites.

7. Fans

When fans aren’t cleaned regularly, they tend to get dirty. Tiny particles collect in or on the fan, and are circulated throughout the area when the fan’s turned on (this goes for both box fans and ceiling fans).To ensure your air stays clean, wipe out your fans regularly.

8. Air Filters

You might be thinking, what? Your air filter is supposed to make the air cleaner, not the other way around. But, like a dirty fan, a dirty air filter can actually increase the circulation of allergens within your home. Not everyone has or needs an air filter, but if you do, make sure you clean it regularly!

If your struggle with allergies seems to be caused by something other than these common sources, you may be dealing with hidden mold. Let the professionals at Bio Pro Mold Inspection and Testing help you determine whether mold is putting you at risk.