For many homeowners, especially parents, creating a healthy home is a matter of the utmost importance. Improving your home environment can do wonders for your health, especially if someone you live with suffers from asthma or other similar diseases. Fortunately, you don’t have to use up your entire rainy day savings fund or take out a second loan to pay for special environmental purification equipment.
In most cases, you can just use smart renovating strategies to make your home nicer for your family. Here are some tips and tricks that work wonders.
Stop Fighting Your Ventilation System
Renovating your HVAC ducts is much easier than trying to improve on them with additional appliances. Although area air purification filters can be helpful, for instance, they’re pointless when your HVAC system is spewing out bacteria, mould spores or dust. Furthermore, some older vent systems have poor or worn seals that let them suck in pollen and irritating pollutants from outside.
You can also make some cheap changes by putting a little bit of elbow grease into your HVAC care routine. Cleaning your ducts and replacing the filters on a regular basis is a great way to prevent them from storing allergens. Also make sure to seal them off with plastic when you renovate other areas so they don’t fill up with construction dust, which can stick around for years.
We know that bathroom cleaning isn’t exactly one of your favourite chores, but you can make it easier on yourself and more effective by renovating your bathroom. For instance, try getting rid of your shower curtains. Of course, you’ll probably want to replace them with something before you take another shower, so look into glass doors and other enclosures that don’t act as bacterial breeding grounds. If this isn’t possible on your current budget, make sure to dry the shower curtain and tile walls thoroughly after every single use to prevent mildew growth.
Stay High and Dry
Just like your bathroom, wet areas like the kitchen, laundry room and cellar can serve as havens for pathogens and organisms you’d rather not have to share space with. After you do the washing up in the kitchen, those brushes and rags you used breed bacteria. Simple drying racks can prevent major allergen buildups by eliminating the moisture that microorganisms thrive on.
Kick Off Your Shoes
While it’s true that you’ll probably want to relax after doing all your new chores, taking off your shoes also prevents the spread of nasties. Buy a shoe bench and insist that people remove their outdoor shoes to ensure that your home doesn’t become filled with contaminants. If your guests feel uncomfortable without footwear or you feel uncomfortable because their feet don’t smell as fresh as you’d imagined they would, you can simply offer them a pair of house slippers as is custom in some Asian locales.
Think Before You Build
Don’t just assume that construction firms know what they’re doing. Instead, demand that they only use materials that are environmentally healthy. Most environmentally friendly materials are also human-friendly. Some even go above and beyond by incorporating special anti-allergenic features, such as designer flooring that contains recycled material and has been processed to prevent the accumulation of dust and mites. You can identify such products by looking for certifications from the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice® Program. Flooring is also a much more allergen-proof choice than carpeting.
Building materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) release these chemicals throughout their lifetimes. VOCs are common in paints, certain construction adhesives and processed wood products that use preservatives like formaldehyde. Although people don’t always smell the VOCs being released by these construction materials, they nonetheless cause eye, nose and throat irritation in addition to serious health risks like headaches, central nervous system damage or cancer in higher concentrations.
Keep Things Green
Regardless of where you stand on greening up the great outdoors, your home can benefit from a few choice houseplants. Some plants actually clean up the air and absorb higher amounts of CO2 than others without releasing a lot of pollen in the process. Many of the species in your area thrive because they can repel local pests, making them perfect for keeping away irritant-carrying insects without resorting to even more irritating aerosols.