Have you ever come home after work to a stuffy, stagnant house? If you leave your windows closed during your workday, you are keeping the same air in your home all day. In the age of air conditioning and insulation, the classic saying “home is where the heart is” is no longer true. Homes are where recycled air, pollution, dust, and bacteria manifest. These pollutants may not be visible to the naked eye, but their short and long-term effects on your health prove their ever-present existence.
So, what can you do to ensure your home is as clean and safe as possible? The solutions are simpler than you may think.
Ventilate Your Home
One way to keep the air in your home clean is to increase fresh air intake. In California we are lucky to have beautiful, near perfect weather year-round, so for many homeowners, this may be the easiest solution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites three ways that outside air can enter and exit your home: infiltration, natural ventilation, and mechanical ventilation. Infiltration occurs when air flows naturally through small openings in your home. Very little fresh air enters the home through this process, so it is important to practice the process of natural ventilation, in which air enters through open doors and windows. Mechanical ventilation, in contrast to the other two processes, requires the use of a fan or other air system that facilitates the removal of indoor air in exchange for fresh outdoor air. Whatever ventilation method you choose, your home is guaranteed to be cleaner and safer with the influx of fresh air.
Be Aware of the Signs and Symptoms of Irritation
As previously mentioned, the pollution present in your home is likely not visible, however your body will react to the pollution in many different ways. Some immediate reactions you or your family may experience are nose, throat, and eye irritation, fatigue, and headaches. These symptoms may become intensified if you or a loved one suffers from asthma, pneumonitis, or other respiratory ailments. Sometimes, the distress your body is experiencing due to air pollution may be mistaken for a cold, which further masks the problem of air pollution in your home and can result in unnecessary treatment. Eradicating air pollution from your home will allow you and your family to be healthier and happier in the long run.
Be Cognizant about Cleaning Your Home
We all have a designated cleaning day in our home. Dusting, vacuuming, and doing laundry are probably on your list of things to do, but at the end of the day, is your house really clean? For example, using a standard feather duster or a plain rag to dust just spreads the dust around your home. For more effective dusting, try using a dusting spray to trap and eradicate dust. Vacuuming your floors is an important way to keep your home clean as your carpet can trap dirt quite effectively. Look into investing in a new, well-filtered vacuum in order to eliminate any dust or dirt from escaping while you vacuum or when you try to power your vacuum on or off. Furthermore, a newer vacuum will prevent any unexpected bag overflows in your home. Finally, washing clothes and sheets more often will decrease the amount of dirt, bed bugs, and dust mites in your home. Try to group clothes and sheets together to limit the number of wash and dry cycles.