When you come home at the end of the day, you want to breathe a sigh of relief when you close the front door behind you — not instantly feel frazzled by the sight of mess everywhere. A tidy home is a healthier home, but this doesn’t mean you need to get out the mop and bucket every day before heading to the office. Making certain simple changes can keep your home healthier inside and out.
How can you improve the health of your home? The eight tips below serve as good starting places. Before long, your daily homecoming will make you feel refreshed and revived.
1. Buy Some Houseplants
According to NASA research, plants clean cancer-causing, volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde from the air. Plants also take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, providing you with an energy boost.
If you’re new to indoor gardening, start small and build from there. You can begin by lining a sunny windowsill with pots containing various herbs, which can boost your health and your cooking. You’ll be snipping sprigs of fresh oregano to add to your pasta sauce in no time. For bedroom areas which receive little light, consider plants like lucky bamboo and peace lily.
2. Change Your Air Filters
Your HVAC system may work overtime to keep your abode comfy, especially if you have pets or smokers in your home. Air filters keep particulates from getting into the machinery, where they can cause costly damage. Clogged air filters also cause your system to lose energy efficiency and rack up hefty electric bills.
Experts recommend changing your air filters at least once per month during seasons of constant use. You can change them less often in the summer if you don’t have central air. However, you should keep up the maintenance if living circumstances lead to higher-than-normal particulate levels in your home — or if you notice poor air quality. Your air conditioning is key to optimizing your home’s health.
3. Upgrade Your Candles
Regular paraffin wax candles can release toxins in the air according to some research, although many scientists debate the topic. Still, since alternatives exist, elevate your candle game by opting to use soy-based candles containing natural essential oils.
If you like soothing scents and can pass on your candles’ flickering glow, you can also invest in an essential oil diffuser. These can be really cheap if you shop around and serve to both freshen the air and act as humidifiers. More humidity in the air can decrease your chances of getting ill, especially from bacterial buildup in dry, indoor conditions.
4. Check for Mould
Anywhere moisture can linger, such as under your kitchen sink, can develop dangerous mould. Breathing in mould can aggravate upper respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and exacerbate other health conditions.
Perform a mould inspection at least once every few months, preferably when the seasons change. If you do find mould, cover your face with a mask and apply a paste of baking soda. Scrub it off with an old toothbrush and spray distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide on the affected area to prevent the growth from recurring.
5. Test Your Appliances
You can benefit from inspecting appliances such as your sump pump, security system and smoke alarms regularly. Doing so can ward off the need for expensive repairs. It also ensures these items don’t fail when you need them most, such as when heavy rainfall or indoor fires threaten your home.
Additionally, every appliance today comes with an Energy-Star rating. Engineers know this, so today’s appliances are double or more the efficiency of yesteryear’s models. You can save a small fortune on utilities by upgrading them when necessary.
6. Kick the Butt Habit
If you’re a smoker, your habit impacts everyone in your household. Secondhand smoke can creep in through cracks in doorways and windows even if you head outside to light up. And yes, the aroma lingers on your clothes, making your furnishings, carpet and even walls reek. You may not smell it, but trust us, non-smokers do.
Improve the health of your home and family by quitting the habit. Tons of free government resources exist to help you quit. Once you do, rip up the carpet or at least get it professionally shampooed. Then, paint your walls and get your ducts cleaned. The additional work you put into cleaning up any smoking residue, the healthier your home can be for all inhabitants.
7. De-Clutter One Thing Weekly
If stuff has piled up in your cabinets and storage spaces, organizing one mass cleanout can prove daunting. However, breaking any chore down into smaller parts helps you get the job done. Pick one cabinet or one closet to clean out for each of the next several weekends. It won’t take more than an hour or two out of your time, if that, to manage one small space. After a few weeks, your home will look professionally organized, and you’ll be free from the mental stress of clutter.
8. Swap Out Your Lighting
Lighting affects our moods greatly. The hum of overhead florescent lights drives many people low-key crazy, and these suck up huge amounts of electricity.
Instead, invest in inexpensive under-the-counter lighting for kitchen areas. This costs little — even if you rent, you can install instant, battery-operated touch lights under cabinetry to save power. Swap out harsh bathroom bulbs for lower-light models and use a lighted makeup mirror. You’ll instantly feel more self-confident from your improved reflection when you head out each morning.
Creating a Healthier, Happier Home
It doesn’t take much to create a cleaner home, and you can do so whether you own your residence or rent. What are you waiting for? Get on your way to a happier, healthier homecoming today!