We mostly focus on exercise and nutrition when it comes to improving our health. But our environment can affect our body as well, so it’s important to take proactive steps to make our home more healthy.
Whether it means removing harmful toxins, updating safety features, or cleaning up more often, improving our living environment can elevate our immediate mood as well as have a positive impact on our long-term health.
Here are a few ways you can make your home more healthy:
Switch to Soy Candles
Scented candles come at a risk. They may smell nice, but scented candles contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are harmful to human health and air quality. Some of these chemicals increase the risk of asthma and allergies.
Soy candles and other vegetable-based options don’t emit those harmful chemicals. On top of producing less soot than paraffin candles, soy candles are sustainable and burn longer.
Unlike emissions from regular scented candles, the smoke from soy candles doesn’t build up on walls, carpets, and upholstery fabrics.
Avoid Chemical-Based Products
Avoid the use of chemical cleaners or pesticides. Like paraffin candles, they often contain a high level of VOCs and other toxic substances. For instance, many cleaning products still contain formaldehyde, even though there is increasing evidence that it can cause cancer.
To be on the safe side, use plant-based products, essential oils, lemon, baking soda, vinegar, basic soap, and water. When it comes to cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, vinegar and baking soda in particular can really work miracles.
No matter what pest-control and cleaning products you get, make sure to follow label directions, keep them locked away from children and pets, and dispose of them properly.
Get An Air Purifier
Making sure you are breathing in clean air is one of the best things you can do for your health. Air pollution has a significant impact on our lungs. Moreover, research even links particulate matter to heart disease.
Air-purifiers can help you get rid of particulate matter, even though they can’t filter out the smallest of these particles. They are not a cure-all solution, but they are the next best thing.
Consider going with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air purifier. HEPA air purifiers can remove ultra-fine particles such as mold, dander, pollen, dust, and many airborne pathogens.
When getting an air purifier, make sure it has a CADR (clean-air delivery rate) rating of at least 300. It should also have the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) label. Beware of brands that use terms as “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-like.” Only look for “true HEPA” air purifiers.
Take Good Care of Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Also called the “invisible killer,” carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous but tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas. CO leaks are very difficult to detect. And, when one does notice them, it’s usually too late.
The simplest way to prevent CO poisoning is to install a carbon monoxide detector in each sleeping area. There should be at least one CO detector on each level of your house. The same goes for smoke detectors.
You should test your CO and smoke detectors once a month. It’s a good idea to wipe them down with a cloth every now and then as well. You can vacuum your CO and smoke detectors twice a year to clear away cobwebs and dust.
If your CO and smoke detectors run on 9-volt batteries, replace the batteries every 6 months. The general rule is to replace CO detectors at least every 5 to 7 years. As for smoke detectors, you should replace them at least every 10 years.
You can hire a certified handyman to perform yearly maintenance on your heating elements in order to reduce the risk of fire and CO leaks.
If you want to go the extra mile in making sure you will be well protected in case of a fire, you can get fire-resistant blankets, fire escape ladders, and fire extinguishers for every room.
Plant a Garden
You can start a small garden, or you can even plant some trees around your property if it is big enough. Gardening isn’t just about making your home prettier. According to the CDC, gardening is proper exercise.
It helps you build strength, burn calories, reduce stress, and boost your mood. And nothing is healthier than home-grown fruits and vegetables.
Clean Out Your Pantry
Since you will be growing your own food from now on, you will need more space in your pantry and fridge. To make room for your fruits and veggies, get rid of all tempting junk food.
It is harder to maintain a healthy diet or lifestyle if you keep bad food in your home. According to a study from Cornell University, people who keep soda and cereal on their countertops are less healthy than those who keep healthy snacks.
Teflon coatings on non-stick cookware can release toxic chemicals into the air. You may get something called the “Teflon flu” if you inhale these fumes. It’s much better to cook with stainless steel or cast iron.
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.