Have you ever wondered how healthy your home is? A healthy home can be the difference between relaxing in peace, living a healthier lifestyle, and constantly wondering why you feel ill or your allergies are playing up. But can you really improve the health of your home to improve your living standards?
The answer is actually yes; you can. According to the CDC, A healthy home is free from lead, high levels of radon and chemicals. At the same time, many generalize a healthy home as one that does not contribute towards ill health and positively improves your physical and mental health on a daily basis.
However, the CDC has also found that while there is a direct link between home health and the health of its occupants, this is mainly a class issue and one that primarily involves renters or those struggling to maintain financial security and don't have the funds to make improvements to their property on top of keeping a roof over their head.
Poor home health has been found to pose an increased risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, reduced mental health, and many other health conditions, significantly reducing a person's quality of life and ability to enjoy the home they live in and how well they can live their lives.
Making improvements at home doesn't always mean you need to make big changes or invest vast sums of money, although in some cases, these can be beneficial, especially if the issues are structural. This post looks at some ways you can improve your home's health and help you feel better mentally and physically.
Holding huge amounts of belongings will inevitably attract dust, which can play havoc on your air quality, affecting your breathing and allergies if you have dust allergies, for example. Clutter can also increase the risk of attracting pests such as mice and impact your mental health if you struggle to find organization and calm in your home.
A free and easy way to help you start living in a healthier home is to start decluttering. Go through your belongings room by room and look at what you own. Ask yourself if you need it or have used it recently, and look at its importance in your home. If you find that actually, you actually don't need it or want it, then you can repurpose it elsewhere by donating it to family, friends, or a charity, selling it, or disposing of it if it's not really useful for anything or is damaged. From here, you can help your home stay cleaner with fewer items needing cleaning and tidying away.
Create A Realistic Cleaning Routine
What this means is what is realistic to you. Everyone has different demands on their wives and abilities, and trying to pressure yourself to keep up with cleaning influencers or other standards could be doing more harm than good. While your home might be clean if you spend excessive time ensuring this, it can harm your mental health, and the opposite is true if you neglect your cleaning for long periods and then try to tackle it all at once.
Come up with a list of nonnegotiables that need doing every single day in your home to benefit your family and life. This could be things like making sure you do at least 1 load of laundry per day or not leaving dirty dishes overnight for example. Then, create your realistic cleaning list from here. Your home can be divided into sections that you tackle on a daily, weekly, or monthly list that is easy to manage, fits into your schedule, and allows you to improve standards without being bogged down.
Carpets can attract and hold many different contaminants, from dust to pet dander, mites, particle pollution, mold spores, and so much more. If you have breathing issues or find that you or your family are having more lung-related illnesses and allergic reactions, your carpets could be to blame.
Removing carpets and replacing them with other flooring options that are easier to keep clean can be highly beneficial. Your choices include installing hardwood floor options throughout your home, laying down vinyl, stripping it back to the original flooring, laying down tiles, or installing laminate. The option depends on your home and the severity of the issues, but this is an effective way of ensuring your home is much healthier.
Don't Wear Shoes Indoors
Another free option you can implement immediately is not wearing shoes inside the home. When you are outdoors, you will likely pick up many contaminants on your shoes and bring dirt and allergens through the home. As you move about with your shoes on, you simply spread whatever is on them throughout the house.
By enforcing a no-shoes-in-the-home rule, you can reduce what is brought into the home as the shoes will remain in an area closer to the front door. It might not seem like this will make a difference, but included with other healthy home choices, it can make quite the impact.
Vacuuming regularly is vital if your home is in a high-pollution area or you have the doors open and pets living with you. You need to be doing this at least once a day or more for a busy household or with dogs and cats who shed constantly. This can help you to remove anything that can impact your health and remove it from the flooring. Use HEPA filters to help you ensure particles are trapped and effectively eliminated.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
Cleaning products contain many chemicals, which can be toxic to your health in large quantities. If you want to reduce the number of chemicals in your home, switching to natural cleaning products, such as using eco-friendly options or making your own cleaning products using natural products, can be a good option. You can use household items to clean, such as lemons, white vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, tomato ketchup, and even Coca-Cola.
Using steam cleaning equipment is also an excellent way of killing off germs and bacteria lurking in your home and ensuring it is clean and healthy without using chemicals.
Mold from excessive moisture in your home can be extremely harmful to your health, and the CDC reports that 7,000 people die annually from mold exposure. If you notice the presence of mold in your home or you start to see black spots appearing around your home, you need to investigate the cause of it. Typically, it will form moisture in places it shouldn't be, not drying out.
Call mold removal experts to help you remove large quantities of mold and identify where the issue lies. From here, you can carry out repairs. Home remedies for removing mold include using humidifiers where the dampness is appearing, cleaning the mold off using bleach, vinegar, baking soda, and air scrubbers, and drying out the conditions the mold spores need to grow. Always use masks when in the presence of mold, as these will block the particles from getting into your lungs, especially when cleaning them away by hand.
There is much debate about whether or not you can use plants to purify indoor air. The air inside your home can have up to five times more contaminants than outdoors, and plants have long been touted as a way to help you purify the air.
While bringing greenery indoors can have many benefits, air purifying alone isn't one of their strong points. Although used alongside other options such as open windows and effective cleaning routines, plants can be massively beneficial, especially for your mental health and mood.
However, a recent NASA study found that two houseplants, in particular, are beneficial at removing five of the most common types of pollutants in the home: peace lilies and chrysanthemums. That being said, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Management in 2020 noted that while individual house plants alone won't do much to improve indoor air quality, a living wall in your home using the right species of plant can be highly effective.
Change Your Filters
Many people mistake cleaning their air ducts as a way to remove household allergens and contaminants. Still, it's actually changing the air filters that will give you the most benefit (a Washington Post study proved that cleaning your ducts does little to improve home health).
Depending on the type of HVAC unit you have and the filters you use (HEPA is the best), you should change your air filters every two to three months to maintain healthy airflow in your home.
While you can do many different things to improve your health and living standards, these nine points can be excellent places to start and give fast results and, in most cases, for very little outlay. Simply changing how you live and clean your home can significantly improve how healthy it is. From here, you can identify bigger issues and rectify them, such as reducing damage in your home and changing flooring, should you be able to afford this.