Is Your Home Making You Sick?
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about if your home is making you sick, written by Will Cotter.
Over the past couple of years, there has been a great focus on curbing the effects of pollution from the environment which often make us sick. Indoor pollution is a new concept, but it is often overlooked. We forget how important it is to ensure the indoor environment is clean. Although surprising, your home can make you sick especially because of the unseen or assumed health hazards. It’s the reason why you sometimes feel well when you leave home but often get sick when you’re at home. Some of the things that could be making you sick include dust mites, mold, and other microbial growth. What are the main elements causing health issues among homeowners? With the help of BetterCleans, this blog looks at the most common ways your home can make you sick.
Heating and Cooling Systems
HVAC is the major victim of indoor pollution. When the air conditioning cools your home, traces of water build-up inside the ducts. These waters are a breeding ground for mold and bacterial growth. The effects of microbial growth cannot be underestimated as it’s the primary cause of respiratory conditions such as allergies, asthma, headaches, and coughs. Most importantly though, not all air ducts can be polluted and not everyone develops issues as a result of contaminated air ducts. But to minimize the chances of feeling unwell, it’s crucial to ensure that your air ducts undergo thorough regular cleaning. It’s also essential to ensure that the heating system undergoes consistent servicing to work efficiently.
We often overlook or forget to attend to different cracks that form on pipes, closets, basements, etc. These cracks can house microbial growth that can cause health concerns for people vulnerable to allergies, asthma, and breathing issues. It’s critical to conduct regular checks to ensure basements, pipes, closets, and more are clean and dry. If you come across leaky areas, ensure to clean and dry them, and call a plumber to fix the issue.
When cleaning the refrigerator, we often forget cleaning the coils and the tray underneath. Most common refrigerators feature electric coils in the freezers which aid in melting the frost after every four hours. The water formed drips into a pan and evaporates together with the compressor’s warm air. However, if dust accumulates on the pan, most of it will be blown to your indoor surroundings. Modern refrigerators often do not have trays below, but it would help to regularly dust off the coils at the back of the refrigerator. In the case of a built-in refrigerator, lift it off the grill and vacuum the coils of the condenser. While doing this, it’d be a good idea to wear gloves to avoid any injuries due to the sharp edges of the refrigerator’s coils. The back of your refrigerator should be cleaned regularly. Also, make use of the manufacturer’s instruction manual to find the best methods to clean your refrigerator.
Bedroom and Furniture
Your bedroom and the furniture you use at home can cause issues to your health. Your favorite chair, pillow or mattress you’ve used for a long time, might be hiding places for dust mites. These microscopic bugs love humidity and the warmth our bodies produce. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that they live in every home. Dust mites can stimulate an uncomfortable reaction in people with allergies and asthma. To solve this issue, regular cleaning of sheets and towels in hot water followed by thorough drying is highly recommended. Therefore it’s important to vacuum and dust your furniture, carpets, and curtains to destroy these dust mites. You should also ensure to encase your mattresses and cover your pillows to prevent dust mites from finding their way through to you. Every home has dust mites but not everyone gets affected by dust mites. Dealing with the issue depends on if you have anyone in your home with dust mite-related symptoms.
A vacuum cleaner is an essential household cleaning tool recommended to handle most allergens at home. As we use the vacuum cleaner we could be releasing all the allergens back to the air, decreasing the quality of indoor air. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is the most recommended when it comes to effectively getting rid of allergens in the indoor surroundings. It filters more than 99% of particulates in the air. It’s, therefore, necessary to avoid vacuums without HEPA filters. These vacuum cleaners suck in the air without trapping dust and instead particles into the air. So, whenever you want to clean your home you should ensure that the vacuum cleaner you’re using has a HEPA filter. If you’re hiring cleaning services, you should stress the use of a HEPA filter vacuum to avoid bringing allergens from other homes to your home.
Some people take a long time before washing their bathmats. If you haven’t washed yours, you should take it to the laundry soon. Whenever we get out of the bathroom, we dry ourselves on top of bathmats, which attracts dust mites, mold, and bacteria. You should dry yourself before you step out of the bathroom. To deal with this issue, It’s crucial to dry off yourself in the bathroom to avoid exposing your bathmat to moisture and excess water. Regularly drying the bathmat and avoiding the use of corn starch on your bathmat can help inhibit the appearance of dust mites, yeast, and bacteria.
While cleaning products serve us well when cleaning our homes, they might cause headaches, eye irritation, breathing problems, and more. Also, when cleaning most people don’t take precautions against the harmful effects of using cleaning products. Chemical-laden vacuum cleaners are the major culprits; wear gloves, open the windows, and dilute the product to avoid any harm to your health. It’s important to avoid using cleaning products with dangerous chemicals.