People spend an average of one-third of their time at home, so it’s no wonder that the type and quality of our living environment directly impacts our physical and mental health. From personal hygiene to air quality and lighting, the conditions in our homes can have profound implications for our day-to-day lives. An unhealthy home can affect everything from circulation to stress levels, causing various issues. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your home a healthier place to live. With new research and evidence about the importance of a healthy homecoming to light every day, many people are taking steps to improve the standard of their living environments. There are numerous simple changes you can make that will significantly impact your health and that of your family members and housemates – but don’t worry! They’re all affordable and easy to put into practice…
Change Your Lighting
There are several ways that an unhealthy home can affect your health, but one of the most common is the quality of your lighting. If you’re not in the habit of changing your light bulbs, then you may be living in an unhealthy environment. This can significantly impact your mood, sleep patterns, and general health. Blue light has been shown to disrupt the body’s natural sleep rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep, and causing sleep to be less restorative. By replacing your light bulbs with low blue light equivalents, you can significantly improve your sleep quality and overall health. Additionally, typical household light bulbs emit high levels of UV radiation, which can cause skin damage and eye irritation. By swapping out your bulbs for low UV equivalents, you can prevent this and reduce glare in your home.
Install Good Ventilation
Poor air quality is one of the most common causes of poor indoor health and this can be harmful in so many ways. In fact, a survey conducted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) found that the air in around 20% of American homes fails to meet minimum indoor air quality standards. This can have various adverse effects, including irritation and dryness of the eyes and skin, increased susceptibility to allergies, and reduced cognitive function. Luckily, there are several ways to improve the air quality in your home. Changing or filtering your home’s HVAC system is a great place to start. This will help remove dust, mold, and other contaminants that lead to poor air quality.
Clean Your Carpets Properly
Carpets are the dirtiest surfaces in most homes. Studies have shown that the average piece of carpet is host to around 200,000 individual bacteria, which is roughly the same amount as would be found on a toilet seat! This is mainly because carpets trap dirt and grime, making them difficult to remove. This, in turn, makes them a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful substances. Thankfully, there are several ways to clean your carpets properly, immensely reducing the risk of bacteria growth. Regular vacuuming is the most common way to keep your carpets clean, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t remove dirt – it simply transfers it to another location.
Stick to a regular cleaning schedule to catch any dirt before it has a chance to become embedded in your carpets. Equip yourself with an upright vacuum with a strong suction power (18 amps or greater) and a rotating brush. These can help remove stubborn contaminants, such as pet hair and sand, which can become trapped in your carpets, causing damage. Regularly clean your vacuum with a disinfectant to kill any harmful substances it may have collected and remove any lingering smells.
If you’re ever in doubt about whether a carpet is worth cleaning, remember that it’s much better to remove the carpet and replace it with a cleaner flooring. For instance, a wooden floor is less than 1% bacteria and far easier to clean than a carpet, meaning it’s a much healthier choice for your home. While it may seem like an extreme step, removing your carpets and replacing them with a hygienic flooring is the best way to reduce the risk of bacteria growth in your home. As prices vary significantly, it’s essential to shop around and get a few quotes before committing to a particular flooring. You may also be able to bargain for a better price if you’re installing new flooring in a large area.
Add Some Plants
Houseplants are great for improving your indoor air quality, and they look beautiful, too – especially during the dark winter months. While air purifiers can be effective, they’re often expensive and require regular maintenance. On the other hand, Plants are much cheaper to buy and are a low-maintenance way to clean your air and make your home look more aesthetic. Research has shown that certain plants are better for purifying the air than others, so you’ll have to choose your own favorites, but ferns, spider plants, and bamboo are excellent choices. Avoid placing plants too close to heat sources, like radiators, though, as this will dry them out and reduce their effectiveness.
Take Your Shoes Off At The Door
This might seem like common sense, but it’s a surprisingly effective way to reduce pollutants and allergens in your home. If you have a particularly messy or dirty house or are concerned about allergies, you might want to enforce a shoe-free policy, but taking your shoes off at the door when you come home is a good start. This will help reduce dirt, grime, and allergens throughout your home and improve air quality.
A healthy home is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, so we must be aware of the risks and take steps to reduce them. While most of these changes are simple and easy to put into practice, they can significantly impact the overall health of your household. Suppose you’re serious about improving your home’s air quality. In that case, it’s also important to regularly clean and change filters, as these can become clogged and begin to lose their effectiveness over time. With these tips and tricks, you can make your home a healthier place to live.