A healthy home — one free of bacteria and pollutants — requires upkeep in several areas. Fortunately, many healthy home maintenance tasks are simple, and can be done in a matter of minutes.
“Small actions can make a big difference when it comes to creating a healthier home,” says Sarah Norman, director, Healthy Homes and Communities for NeighborWorks America.
What are these actions? Norman and NeighborWorks America outline principles of healthy homes:
A Clean Home – Vacuum your home with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) product regularly to keep dust from accumulating. Clean with products that are non-toxic, biodegradable and/or unscented.
A Maintained Home – Don’t let your home fall into disarray. Make minor repairs as soon as you are able, and check the structure and systems in the home periodically.
A Safe Home – Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to ensure they are in proper working order. If you have children, take steps to childproof the home. These might include locking up chemical-based products, installing cordless window treatments and covering wall outlets.
A Contaminant-Free Home – Have your home tested for radon. If it tests positive for above-safe levels, install a radon removal system. In addition, if your home was constructed prior to 1978, have a lead repair and removal specialist fix cracked or peeling paint.
A Pest-Free Home – Adopt “IPM” (Integrated Pest Management) strategies to keep pests from entering the home. These might include sealing cracks in the structure of the home and storing food in airtight containers.
A Dry Home – Inspect your home—the roof, gutters, and plumbing fixtures—for leaks regularly, and fix them as soon as you are able. Keep an eye on your basement for any signs of water. (You may need to re-grade the home’s foundation if the problem persists.)
A Well-Ventilated Home – Promote air circulation, particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms, with an efficient ventilation system. Be sure the system moves air outside of the home
Taking these steps will go a long way towards a healthier household for you and your loved ones. A healthy home, after all, is a happy home.