Did you know that studies have linked over 50% of all health problems to deteriorated indoor air quality? Over the past twenty years, the asthma rate for children has tripled. One study found women who worked at home had a 54% higher cancer rate than those that worked outside the home.
If these statistics tell us anything, it’s that your home definitely could be making you sick. Luckily there are a few simple steps you can take to make your home more healthy for you and your family.
1. Stop Using Poisons to Clean Your House
Most people don’t realize that common household cleaners — like ammonia and chlorine — are poisons. Many ingredients have not been properly tested and, since there are no regulations requiring that all cleaning ingredients be listed, you could be bringing exotic toxins into your home without knowing it. Triclosan is one such ingredient that is so dangerous Minnesota just banned it.
You can also make your own green cleaning products. A solution of vinegar or lemon juice and water can kill germs and mold. Baking soda can take the place of abrasive cleansers like Comet or Ajax. And nothing beats plain old soap and water. For killing germs, it is just as effective as antibacterials.
2. Increase Ventilation
Unfortunately, while good insulation can reduce heating and air-conditioning costs, it also contributes to poor indoor air quality. Studies have shown that better ventilation in work environments contributes to lower rates of sickness among workers and it stands to reason that the same would be true in homes. So try to open all the windows and air out your home at least once a week.
If you have the resources, consider upgrading your home HVAC system and installing a heat exchanger. This will allow you to keep the fan running for ventilation all the time with minimal loss of heat or cold. An air filtration system as well as a humidifier might also be good investments.
3. Control Dust
Getting rid of dust is another great way to improve your indoor air quality. If you have carpets, try to vacuum at least a couple times a week. And don’t forget to dust! Almost all surfaces can be safely dusted with a barely-damp, soft rag; there is no need to use a product such as Endust.
Would You like Some Help?
These three steps can help make your home a healthier place. But if you are an allergy sufferer, pet owner, or expectant parent, you might want to invest in a more comprehensive plan to improve your home’s health. If you’re in Silicon Valley, I invite you to call or email me to schedule a Home Health Checkup.
During your Home Health Checkup, I will:
- Assess your home cleaning products as well as your personal care items and suggest healthy replacements if necessary
- Go room-by-room to evaluate and uncover potential hazards including carpeting, furnishings, fabrics, mold potential, and renovation materials
- Create a comprehensive report and analysis
For more information, please go to my Home Health Checkup page or contact me. I look forward to helping you make your home a green, clean place where you can breathe easy.