25 Things You Should Know About Creating A Healthy Home

Healthy Air

1. Unhealthy air can come from the materials used to build your home. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from certain types of wood furniture frames, plywood subflooring, and medium-density fiberboard cabinetry contain urea formaldehyde (UF), can be released. Buy products of solid-wood or are UF-free. VOCs release decreases over time, so provide plenty of ventilation if you have new products containing urea formaldehyde in your home.

2. Air the room out thoroughly for 48 to 72 hours following of new carpeting installation to allow VOC emissions to dissipate.

3. Reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers by landscaping with native vegetation If landscaping chemicals are used, remove your shoes before stepping inside the house. Shower immediately after applying pesticides, and wash the clothes you were wearing separately from other laundry.

4. Install a whole house humidifier to heating and cooling system, to balance dry winter humidity. These units reduce light-switch induced shocks, dry coughs, sinus problems, and dry skin (which flakes off and creates food for dust mites).

5. Choose products that include limited VOCs or none at all when painting. Choose low-toxic, water-base adhesives and caulks because they emit fewer fumes and quickly stop releasing chemicals. 

Cleaner Fireplaces (if applicable)

6. Consider a sealed-combustion gas unit, which draws air from outside and vents it back out so that no fumes or particles pollute indoor air.

7. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, reduce indoor air pollution and creosote formation by using clean, dry, seasoned hardwood.

8. Mount a fan on top of your chimney to stop soot and smoke from going into living spaces in the home. These restore healthy ventilation and can refresh a room\’s air when the fireplace isn\’t in use and can be used with wood-burning and gas fireplaces. 


Healthy Tips

9. Install carbon monoxide detectors, which notify you of the deadly, odorless gas, especially near sleeping areas.

10. Install a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth. Make sure gutters and drain spouts direct water away from the house.

11. Check home water quality by calling your local municipality for water-test results. Install a water-filtration system to rid of dangerous materials in your drinking water.

12. Use moisture-resistant gypsum panels in lieu of standard drywall when finishing your walls. They are designed to rebuff moisture and mold from both sides, as well as offer added fire protection.


13. Install exhaust fans and hoods in the kitchen and bathroom. A range hood helps keep kitchen air clean by expelling pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide that are generated by a gas stove. Bathroom fans reduce condensation that can lead to mold growth.

14. Consider an air purifier to control odors, chemical vapors, and pollutants in your home. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters are used in air purifiers to remove microscopic particles, while some units have a secondary filtration system, such as activated carbon, to remove odors.

15. In the kitchen, sanitize sponges by tossing them into the microwave or dishwasher. Make sure countertops and cutting boards are nonporous surfaces, and clean them regularly.

16. When building your new home, consider having windows on multiple walls to allow cross ventilation for natural ventilation during mild weather and air exchanges. When cleaning, keep windows operable and unobstructed. 

17. Homes should include a ventilation system to exhaust stale air and bring in fresh. The system should be based on the home\’s size, structural tightness, climate, and number of occupants.

Dust Control

18. Replace carpet with easy-to-keep-clean flooring, such as hardwood, tile, linoleum, and bamboo.

19. Choose easy-to-clean window treatments to reduce the build up of dust in the home. Flat-weave cotton and linen fabrics are smart selections. Textured draperies and blinds can collect dust, so you might opt to reduce usage of these materials in the home. 

20. Display hard-to-clean collectibles behind glass doors to reduce accumulated dust in the house.

21. When you remodel your home, hire a licensed company to clean out your home\’s duct system.

22. Put allergy-control covers on mattresses and pillows, to reduce incidences of dust mites. Wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry on high heat.

23. Use a vacuum with an agitator, high suction, high filtration (such as HEPA filters), and tools for cleaning furniture, draperies, ceilings, and baseboards.

24. Or use a central vacuum system which can outperform conventional vacuums in removing dust and allergens from your house. This can be done to new homes or existing homes as it can be easily retrofitted with the systems.

25. Create a mudroom, which does more than keep a home neat. It isolates tracked-in dirt and moisture that can cultivate mold and attract dust mites.