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A healthy home means different things to different people, but there are several things that anyone can do to make their home healthier, regardless of their goals.
We’re not talking about cooking nutritious meals or staying active, although those are very important! Instead, we’re talking about small changes you can make to your home to make everyday just a little healthier.
Here are 8 ways to create a healthy home, reduce allergens, and generally make your living space more comfortable.
Have you ever heard that household dust is made mostly of dead skin cells? That’s not quite true. While dead skin is found in dust, most of the dust in your home is made up of particles brought in from outside like pollen and dirt. Other materials that make up household dust include pet hair, dander, and textile fibers (fuzz from your clothes or linens).
One of the easiest and most effective ways to create a healthy home – and reduce allergens – is by dusting regularly. Whether you use a cleaner and rag or a device specifically made for trapping dust, it’s always a good idea to dust your surfaces weekly. You can also purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which will trap those dust particles more effectively than a traditional vacuum.
More often than not, the air inside your home has more pollutants than outdoor air. This is because the air inside your home is trapped inside (unless you open windows, of course) and because pollutants from cooking, cleaning, and even personal care products like hairspray linger inside.
In addition to getting fresh air by opening your windows when the weather permits, an air purifier will help remove these pollutants from the air in your home. Air purifiers are widely available at a variety of price points, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs and your budget.
You probably wash your bedsheets and comforters on a regular basis, but what about the other linens in your home like blankets, throws, slipcovers, or even curtains? Like your sheets, these soft surfaces collect dirt, dander, pet hair, and oils from your body.
Wash your sheets and bed coverings every 2-4 weeks, regularly-used throw blankets at least once a month, and your slipcovers every 3-6 months. As for your curtains, make cleaning them part of your dusting routine and, if possible, clean them more thoroughly every 3-6 months.
When it comes to cleaning products, “green” means that the product has less of an impact on human health and the environment than traditional cleaning products. It’s important to know that “green” doesn’t automatically mean non toxic, though. Highly-scented products may still be harmful, even if they’re marketed as being “green”. You should also look out for phthalates, a common cleaning ingredient that has been linked to respiratory issues.
One way to ensure your cleaning products are safer? Make your own! A common all-purpose cleaner is one part white vinegar to one part water. If the smell of vinegar is too much for you, try adding a few drops of essential oils. Store it in a spray bottle and use it to clean countertops (do not use on granite), stainless steel, glass, and even your bathroom.
Houseplants are more than just trendy, they can help purify the air in your home. Plants aren’t a substitute for an air purifier, but they are a great addition to your home. Some of the best air purifying plants are:
With new houseplants, your home will be healthier and more inviting!
We’ve all heard that our cell phones can have as much bacteria as a toilet seat, but have you ever thought about the other handheld devices and controllers in your home? Things like your TV remote and video game controllers also harbor bacteria.
Aim to clean these items monthly, using either alcohol pads or a mixture of one part rubbing alcohol and one part water.
Air fresheners don’t actually eliminate odors, they simply cover one scent with another. In addition to being ineffective, synthetic air fresheners are very common triggers for headaches, migraines, allergies, and asthma attacks. Eliminating them is a great way to create a healthy home.
Don’t worry, though! There are still several ways to make your home smell nice without using synthetic air fresheners. Essential oil diffusers are popular, but be sure to check that the oils you choose are safe for use around pets. You can also light a naturally scented candle or simmer potpourri in water on the stove.
You may only think of humidity being a factor in the southern states, but indoor humidity is a concern for homeowners across the country. When humidity levels in your home get and remain too high, the conditions are usually perfect for mold and mildew growth. In addition to being difficult and expensive to get rid of, mold can lead to a host of respiratory issues and exacerbate conditions like allergies and asthma.
Home humidity monitors are typically accurate within 2-3% and are small enough to place on a shelf. Prices range from $10 to $80 or more, so there’s something for every budget.
One more way to create a healthy home: allow plenty of natural light in! Natural light is a mood booster and may even help you reduce stress. Our selection of windows allow for maximum natural light, while looking beautiful. To get started, schedule your free consultation today!