Best Way to Create an Allergy-Free Home Office

As the 21st century unfolds, more and more of us will find ourselves working from home. The move from company site to home office often entails con­verting a room into a work area. But even a traditional office worker may need a study at home reserved for work-related items, such as a computer

If you are working from home, the home office becomes increasingly crucial as a factor in your general health. The importance of taking breaks outside the house cannot be over-emphasized, or you may find that days could go by without you ever setting foot beyond your front door In these circumstances, the overall home environment will have an enormous impact on your health.

Allergy Free Home Best Way to Create an Allergy Free Home Office

The main reservoirs of dust mites in the office will be the carpet and any fabric-upholstered furniture, such as your desk chair. The same guidelines apply: keep humidity low, minimize clutter keep walls smooth, and buy streamlined furniture so that any dust that does collect is easy to clean. As well, some equipment may produce undesirable emissions, such as the solvents in correcting fluid and ozone emitted by electrical equipment. In addition, poorly designed equipment – such as chairs and desks – lighting, and ventilation can all be sources of physi­cal stress leading to health problems such as repetitive strain injury.


  • Use paint or paper with a washable, non-textured finish. Smooth walls collect less dust and are easier to keep clean.
  • Damp-dust picture rail, dado rail, or furniture surfaces weekly to prevent the build-up of dust.
  • Consider removing dado or picture rails, if any, if you are undertaking repair work on the walls.


  • Keep books on shelves behind glass doors so that they do not collect dust
  • Avoid storing piles of books, old newspapers, and magazines in the office (or anywhere else in the home).These will absorb moisture and encourage the growth of mould. Throw away any books or papers that smell at all damp or mildewy. Even if you dry them out, they may still retain mould spores.

Office chairs

  • Avoid soft-upholstered, padded office chairs. A leather-upholstered chair is a better option, as any dust that collects on it can easily be cleaned away. You are likely to spend most of your time in the office sitting on your chair so pay particular attention to choosing the right type.
  • Take regular breaks if you are spending long periods at the computer keyboard to help avoid repetitive strain injury (RSI).
  • Make sure that your chair is properly adjusted as general aches and strains are often caused by badly adjusted furniture. When using a keyboard, your forearms and hands should be level with the keyboard.


  • Install hard surface flooring, such as vinyl, linoleum, solid wood, or wood laminate, in preference to wall-to-wall carpets.

Allergy Free Home 1 Best Way to Create an Allergy Free Home Office


  • To avoid a build-up of dust in the office, keep awards, mementoes, and ornaments to a minimum. Any you want to keep near you should be displayed behind glass doors not on open shelves or on walls.


  • Consider using a portable air-filtering unit, fitted with an HEPA filter, if you are a pollen suffer and need to keep the office windows shut during the worst of the pollen season.
  • Position computer screens where they will not catch reflected light from windows.
  • Use an air-conditioner if necessary in hot, humid weather; but bear in mind lhal it will not replace indoor air with fresh outside air

Electrical equipment

  • Turn off computers, photocopiers, and laser printers when they are not in use for any length of time, as this type of equipment gives off ozone. In a badly ventilated room where a photocopier in particular, is running, ozone concentrations can build up to potentially harmful levels. Ozone may worsen allergic symptoms. Check with an allergy association for advice on an approved ozone remover for office use. If possible keep photocopiers in a separate, well-ventilated space.
  • Take ease of cleaning into account when purchasing new equipment – smooth surfaces with few awkward corners collect less dust and are easier to clean.
  • Use clean protective dust-covers on computer keyboards. Fine-mesh conductive screens are available for monitor screens. These reduce static electricity, which tends to attract dust particles.

Office furniture

  • Treat board-based furniture with caution. Like all products made from board, office furniture made from this material emits formaldehyde. Choose board furniture sealed with a plastic laminate veneer since this will reduce formaldehyde emission. Avoid exposed board surfaces.
  • Choose furniture made from stainless steel, plastic, or solid wood if possible. Be aware that modern furniture is often made of a wood veneer covering a board product.
  • Keep office furniture, no matter what it is made from, to the essentials. This minimizes a dust build-up and makes cleaning easier
  • Allow space for the circulation of air behind furniture and storage units to prevent cold spots and mould growth.

Allergy Free Home 2 Best Way to Create an Allergy Free Home Office

  • Use waste baskets made of metal or plastic. These are easier to clean than woven cane or fabric types.


  • Consider installing radiant heating. This stirs up less dust than forced-air radiators.
  • Turn down the thermostat on your office heating to help to control the mite population. Remember that heat is also generated by electrical office equipment.

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