When it comes to our health, we all want to make the best choices for ourselves and our families. It’s no secret that keeping a healthy home is important. In fact, it’s something that we should all be striving for. Not only does it make our lives easier, but it can also save us money in the long run. In this guide, we will discuss some tips for creating a healthier home. Keep reading to learn more.
Your home is your safe haven—it’s the place where you can relax and feel comfortable. But if your home isn’t clean or well-maintained, it can actually make you sick. Dust, mold, and other allergens can trigger asthma and allergies. And pests like cockroaches and rodents can carry diseases that can make you and your family sick.
Additionally, when you have a cluttered, messy home, it can lead to higher levels of stress. Physical clutter in your environment can make it difficult to focus and process information. It can contribute to higher levels of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Improve air quality around the home
Over the past several years, we have experienced a growing awareness of the importance of maintaining our health and well-being. From eating healthier foods to exercising regularly, many of us are making changes to improve our health. However, did you know that the environment in which we live can also impact our health?
The air inside our homes can be more polluted than the air outside. Dust, dirt, and pet dander can build up in carpets and soft surfaces such as furniture, bedding and curtains. Household products, cleaning supplies and building materials all contribute to the indoor air pollution that may be present in your home.
An estimated 50% of illnesses are either caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air and people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors.
While there is no single solution to reducing indoor air pollution, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of your indoor environment.
Reduce pollution sources
Whenever possible, purchase environmentally safe household products and cleaning supplies without volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include paints, varnishes and waxes with low-VOC or zero-VOC formulations; natural solvent cleaners; non-aerosol sprays; and dust mop treatments made from natural oils like lemon oil. If using aerosol sprays, open windows to ventilate the area while you are using them.
Replace old household products
If you can’t purchase new household products without VOCs, consider replacing old ones with newer, safer alternatives. For example, install a water filter on your kitchen faucet to remove contaminants from your drinking water or buy a central vacuum system that doesn’t recirculate dust and allergens back into the air.
Use natural ventilation and air filtration
Open doors and windows when weather permits to allow fresh air into your home. Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the air in your home. And consider installing an air filtration system to remove airborne pollutants such as dust, pollen and smoke from the air in your home.
Maintain a clean environment
Regular cleaning and vacuuming will help to remove pollutants from surfaces in your home. Be sure to vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture frequently using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. And don’t forget to dust! Dusting with a damp cloth or mop will help to reduce the amount of dust that becomes airborne.
Change your air filters regularly
Replace your air filters at least once every two months. This will help to keep allergens at bay and improve the efficiency of your HVAC system so that it can run more economically while keeping you comfortable all year round.
Keep your home clean
It seems like a no-brainer, but keeping your house clean can help you avoid getting sick. Dust, bacteria, and viruses can all be found in a dirty house. Some people have allergies that can be exacerbated by the dust and other allergens that collect in a dirty house. Make sure you are dusting regularly and cleaning hard surfaces such as countertops with disinfectants on a regular basis.
Be mindful of your appliances
Sometimes we don’t think about how our appliances can affect our health, but they do make a difference. Air conditioners and refrigerators both use Freon which has been found to cause throat cancer in some cases. Check the seals on your fridge and freezer to make sure that they are tight and not leaking any Freon into the air. If you have an old fridge, it might be time for an upgrade.
Get rid of mold
Mold is a serious problem in many homes. It can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. If you have mold in your home, it is important to get rid of it as soon as possible. You can usually do this yourself with some bleach and water, but if the problem is bad, you might need to call in a professional.
Get rid of allergens
Most people know that pollen, dust and pet dander can cause allergies, but there are other potential allergens lurking in every room of your house — mold, cockroaches, dust mites and more. These allergens can trigger asthma attacks, allergic reactions and other respiratory problems that make it harder to breathe comfortably at home.
Regular pest control
Pests can carry viruses and bacteria. Keep up with regular home pest control services, and check for pests if you notice a change in behavior from your pets or family members, especially if they have allergies.
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that comes from burning fuels such as wood, charcoal, natural gas, and propane. It can build up indoors and cause serious health problems or even death.
Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and check the batteries every six months.
If you have a fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned regularly to prevent deadly fires. Check your smoke detectors monthly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.
Also, create an evacuation plan in case of fire, and practice it with your family.
Get rid of excess stuff
The more stuff you have, the more cleaning you have to do. And the more cleaning you have to do, the greater the chance of toxic chemicals being released into your home.
So get rid of anything you don’t need, and donate or recycle what you can. This will not only make your home healthier, but it will also make it feel less cluttered.
Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in dirty environments. They’re too small to see, but they can cause asthma and other respiratory problems.
To reduce dust mites in your home, vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. If possible, wash your bedding in hot water once a week.
And don’t forget to dust! Dusting with a damp cloth can help reduce the amount of dust in your home.
What you shouldn’t do to keep your home safe and healthy:
- Don’t let your pets sleep on the bed: Pets can carry all sorts of bacteria and parasites that you don’t want near your sleeping area.
- Don’t leave food out: Not only will this attract pests, but it can also cause food poisoning if the food is not properly stored.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean: These can be harmful to your health and the environment. Instead, opt for natural cleaning solutions like vinegar or baking soda.
- Don’t neglect maintenance: This can lead to bigger problems down the road that are more difficult (and expensive) to fix. Regularly check filters, seals, and weatherstripping to ensure they are in good condition.
- Don’t store cleaning products next to food: Products like dish soap, dishwasher detergent, bleach and laundry detergent are highly concentrated toxic chemicals that should be stored separately from food products.
- Leaving dirty dishes in a sink overnight: If you don’t have time to wash them right away, at least rinse them off so they don’t attract pests or become a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Not taking out the trash: This can lead to an unpleasant smell in your home as well as attract pests. Empty the trash daily, and be sure to clean the garbage can regularly.
- Don’t skip the safety gear: When you use caustic chemicals to clean, paint, garden or even wash your car, it’s important to wear protective gear. That goes for lawn work as well. If you’re doing something that causes fumes, wear a mask. If you’re dealing with potential skin irritants, wear gloves and long sleeves.
Now that you know some of the key areas to focus on for a healthier home, you can get started making changes in your own space. Remember, even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to improving your family’s health and well-being.
Your home should be your sanctuary, a place where you can relax and feel comfortable. But if it’s full of toxins and other health hazards, it can actually do more harm than good.
Don’t compromise your health by continuing to live in an unhealthy home. These tips will get you on the right track to making changes that matter.