It’s that time of year when everyone is getting sick, and whether you know it or not, you bring those germs home with you. Anything you touch can potentially stay on your hands and then make its way to your door handle, refrigerator door, and whatever else you may go after when you get back to your house.
Some homes-built decades ago have allergens and other bacterium may have been living in the house for years. If you’re not in the market to buy a home and move into a new sanitary space, you will want to boost your homes healthiness quotient. Either way, these tips on building a healthier home should give you a hand with staying above the weather.
Air Vents and Filters
The dust in your home can be filled with all sorts of unhealthy substances, including pet dander, bacteria, pollen and even mold. Sure, dusting and vacuuming can help pick up some of the dust — but they can also spread the pollutants around. A better solution? Putting HEPA-type filters on your heater and air conditioner to capture these particles. In addition, having your air vents cleaned regularly increases the health level of your home.
When you assess your indoor air quality, you may very well find that you’re wasting energy (and the money you spend on energy) as well. If heat and air conditioning are leaking, it may be time to check your insulation and seal up leaks. Switching to newer appliances, especially those with an ENERGY STAR rating, can help you use energy more efficiently as well.
Pets: Droppings and Bathing
Pet waste is surprisingly toxic, carrying dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and because it’s filled with nitrogen, it can attract harmful algae if it gets into your water supply. That means it’s vital to pick up and dispose of pet waste property, even in your yard (where waste can seep into ground water). Use sealed bags or pooper scoopers to pick it up and dispose of it in the trash. Bathing your pets regularly is also important to the health of your home, as it can minimize the pet dander that causes allergic reactions.
Many popular cleaning products for your home contain chemicals that can aggravate or cause asthma, harm the lungs over time, and even cause cancer. The preservatives in some citrus- or pine oil-scented cleaning products may form formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen, when it reacts with air, and products containing bleach can create chloroform fumes. Fabric softeners and spray cleaners may contain other dangerous chemicals. Choosing cleaning products that have been certified as green, or environmentally conscious, may help improve the indoor air and overall health of your home.
Lighting and Soy Candles
The type of lighting you have in your home can drastically affect your sleep health. Although compact fluorescent bulbs are widely promoted as energy-saving and cost-effective, they don’t emit the full spectrum that daylight provides and can headaches and eye problems in some people because of their constant flickering. Incandescent bulbs produce a light spectrum that’s far healthier for the human body, but they’re less healthy for the environment. Warm white LED bulbs can help your indoor lighting remain healthy, as can a smart home system that gives you control over light levels.
If you like the beauty of candles burning in your home, but you’re choosing conventional scented candles, you may be introducing more toxic fumes into your indoor air. Instead, choose soy wax candles that burn cleanly for healthier indoor air.
By making just a few changes to your home routines, you can present a healthier home to the world.