Your home is your safe sanctuary. It should be both a comfortable and healthy environment to return to each day. Maintaining a healthy home does not have to be an expensive or elaborate undertaking. There are several things you can do to make your home healthier with very little effort. Here are some suggestions.
Open window coverings when the sun is shining. We can all use some natural vitamin D, especially in the winter. So, open up the shades and curtains and let the sun in.
If you have a forced air heating and/or cooling system, consider placing air vent filters behind the grills at the supply vents to reduce allergens. Replace the filter on your HVAC unit at least once a year. And, use a HEPA filter vacuum for cleaning. For a little more money you can use free-standing HEPA filter air purifying units in the rooms where you spend the majority of your time.
Live plants are also great air purifiers. They will absorb some pollutants and excess carbon dioxide. They also supply us with the oxygen we need to breathe. Spider plants, ficus trees, and palms tend to do well indoors.
Electromagnetic Fields, or EMFs, are all that electricity that is buzzing around in the atmosphere. Your home is likely filled with these fields from cell phone chargers, TVs, computers, and other electronics. Too many EMFs can be disruptive to sleep and overall well being. Using surge protector strips with on/off switches for your electronics can greatly reduce EMFs. Just flip the switch before you go to bed to turn the TV, cable box, chargers, and computers off in your bedrooms.
Fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors are not only essential, they are required in most localities for your health and safety. These are not expensive to purchase and install. Test the units periodically and change the batteries as needed.
While most tap water in the United States is safe for bathing and cleaning, it commonly contains pathogens that you probably don’t want to be cooking with or drinking. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a whole house filtering system. You can purchase counter top pitchers and dispensers that will filter tap water. If you’re concerned about shower water as well, you can also buy carbon filter units that attach to your shower head for less than $50. You will need to replace the filters in pitchers about every two months and the shower filters once a year.
One of the kindest things you can do for your health is to toss the chemical cleaners and deodorizers. You can clean just as well with grocery store items like white vinegar, baking soda, and pure castile soap. Essential oils can be added for their antimicrobial, insect repellent, and deodorizing properties.
You can do a home radon test with a kit that you can purchase for less than $25. If you find that there is a radon problem, you can ventilate the basement or crawl space to help move it along. If the levels are very high, you may have to have a professional company assess and remedy the problem.
Basements and crawl spaces are notorious for mold and mildew. You can lessen the likelihood of toxic mold by placing a dehumidifier in these areas. Remember to empty and clean the unit routinely. Ventilating bathrooms will also help to reduce humidity and the potential for mildew.
Chimneys should be checked periodically for soot or creosote build-up, debris, and mold. Hire a professional chimney sweep to clean the flue.
Routine cleaning and maintenance of your home are the best things you can do to keep you and your family healthy and safe.
By: Cary Teller