How You Can Make Your Home an Ally for Good Health
Our homes should keep our families safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially when it comes to unseen toxins. Our houses can hold things that actually make us sick, but thankfully, there are things we can do to transform our homes into the sanctuaries we need.
The Dangers in Our Homes
Even if you clean your home regularly, you are still breathing in and exposed to all sorts of harmful substances. For instance, you may not be aware of all the unhealthy gases you breathe in daily inside your own home, which are called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs for short. These come from air fresheners, flooring, paint, and even the fabric of our carpets, rugs and furniture. The very chemicals and agents we use to clean around our houses can pollute our environments. These can have lasting impacts on the health of our families, so we need to take action now to clean up how we live.
Vacuum More Than Weekly
Nothing gets everywhere the way particles do. Dirt and dust get into carpets, rugs, flooring, sofas, and everywhere in between. Most of us know we should vacuum at least once a week, but sometimes, we need to do so much more frequently. If you have pets, you may want to consider doing so every day. High-traffic areas should be done frequently as well. This can keep the air in your home from being heavy with dust, dirt and dander.
However, be sure you have the right machine for the job. Different floors require different tools, so make sure yours is right for your home. Short-pile carpet is different from tile, which is different from long carpet. If you have the latter, you need a vacuum that works specifically for your floors, such as the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog SGEEO or the Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly 31150, both of which are highly-rated models. Hardwood and short-pile carpet need something with a canister, like the Bissell 1161 Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum or the Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum.
Improving Air Quality
One excellent way to improve the air your household breathes is to install air filters where you can. First, look at your air conditioning and heating system. If you don't know how to change the filter, read your manual carefully before you swap it out for a fresh one. Consider testing your home for radon, as this can be very harmful and is difficult to detect. Rather than reaching for a can of air freshener, open a window and let in some clean air from outside. To prevent mold, keep humidity low (between 30 and 50 percent), and do some DIY repair when you notice leaks to stop mildew. This can also help prevent dust, which is another airborne pollutant. Plants can make effective filters as well, so add some English ivy or other plant purifiers in a few rooms.
Substitute Toxic Items for Clean Ones
There are plenty of ways to switch out hazardous materials with safe alternatives. Paint and varnish, for instance, come in low-to-no-VOC formulas. If you want to put up wallpaper, there are low-VOC glues and adhesives you can use. If you have bleach-heavy or harsh chemical cleaners, you can change them out for environmentally-friendly alternatives, which save you and the planet at the same time.
There are many ways we can make our homes safer places for ourselves, our families and the earth. By limiting the toxic items we keep on hand, using green-cleaning techniques, and by vacuuming regularly, you can do your part to live better. You’ll notice an improvement in how you feel, how often you and your loved ones get sick, and simply how much easier it is to breathe indoors.
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