Most of us assume that with regular cleaning and keeping our homes tidy that automatically makes them a healthy environment. Unfortunately, that is wrong, there are numerous activities and habits that will contribute to the build-up of germs and unhealthy particles that can be causing headaches, asthma and dermatological conditions. So, what are these mistakes and how can we stop making them?
Not taking shoes off at the door – This one certainly doesn’t apply to all, if anything a lot of households probably have a strict no shoes on the carpet rule, but there’s a good reason for that. The outside world is full of harmful toxins and these easily get picked up on your footwear. When you wear shoes around the house, you’re heightening the risk of tracking in allergens, bacteria, viruses and other pollutants that may be adding to your unhealthy house syndrome.
Overfilling cupboards/wardrobes/shelves - By overfilling in these storage facilities you are stopping the circulation of air therefore letting moisture build-up and if the moisture can’t escape it will create mould.
Letting pets roam free - Every animal sheds dander and it actually gets worse as pets age. If you’re allowing your pets to sleep in your bed then you’re bedroom is most likely a breeding ground for pet dander and allergens. Even if you don’t have a pet allergy, you’re probably suffering some type of ill effects just from being exposed to the high concentration of dander while you sleep. If you struggle to set boundaries with pets then you need to up their bathing and grooming.
Not cleaning the bin – Nobody likes ‘bin smell’ and if you let it linger and fester eventually, you’ll need a new bin and whilst yes maybe once a year a replacement bin is needed anymore is excessive and wasteful. Instead you should empty the bin, put it in the shower of bath, splash some bleach or disinfectant and use the showerhead to rinse out. Just don’t forget to clean/rinse the bath or shower basin out after!
Ignoring the bathmat – It's easily done, the bath mat has one job and you tend to leave it to do it but after use you should pick up your bath mat and let it air out over the tub ledge or a towel rod. Also, wash it once a week in hot water when you do your other laundry. This will lower the chances of your bathroom becoming an unhealthy zone.
Not taking care of the sink – Again we often take our sinks for granted and really if you don’t have a dishwasher the last thing you want to do is spend even more time at the sink than necessary. However, we put our sinks through their paces and they do need some TLC from time to time. Not many people know this, but the dirtiest place inside your home is the kitchen sink. It’s even dirtier than the toilet seat.
Kitchen sinks stay wet and moist, which is what many bacteria like E. Coli need to survive. When you’re cooking and touching raw meat, you’re probably touching the faucet taps with contaminated hands before you have a chance to wash them. Bacteria also feeds on the food particles that get stuck in the drain and around the sink basin, making it a toxic environment. So once a week you should deep clean your sink, remove anything on it such as a drying rack or sponges and use a strong disinfectant, remember to clean the taps, the basin, around the edge of the sink and the unit.
Not using a mattress protector - A single mattress can have between 100,000 to 10 million dust mites living in it on any given day. Plus, if you haven’t replaced your pillow in two years, 10% of its weight may be composed of dead mites and their droppings. Dust mites produce are known for producing allergy symptoms that are often mistaken for the common cold and hay fever. That’s why some people feel like they’re constantly getting an illness, when in fact it’s due to a house full of dust mites. To cut down on dust mites, you can buy special dust-proof casings with zippers for your mattress and pillows. This material is so tightly knitted that dust mites can’t get bury themselves into them, which greatly reduces these allergens.
Not utilising an air purifier - If you have young children or suffer from allergies, you might want to invest in an air purifier. These small, electrical devices plug into the wall socket and clean the air in the surrounding area. If you live next to a busy main road, they can help remove the particulate matter from inside your home or pollen that can sometimes be brought in from outdoors when opening and closing external doors and windows.
Having too many house plants – It was recently proven that houseplants can't actually improve indoor air quality, however they do make for a stylish addition to a household. Unfortunately, mould thrives in warm, wet environments and plant soils make a perfect habitat for it to grow. Limit the number of houseplants in each room. Stick with 2-3 small plants or one large potted plant. This will reduce the number of places mould can grow indoors and keep your home the healthiest.
Not dusting properly – Not only should you be dusting at least once a week but you should also be dusting in a certain way. If you dust incorrectly, you could be missing places or allowing for excessive amounts of dust to build up in every room. This can lead to all sorts of allergy triggers and unhealthy air levels. Dust each room starting from the highest points and working your way down. Use a damp cloth, not a feather duster, because this traps the dust particles rather than sending them out into the air. Working from top to bottom will also allow you to gather up any dust that falls while you clean.
Neglecting the refrigerator - Refrigerators can be home to lots of different kinds of bacteria that can make your sick. As bits of food and liquids collect on the shelves and in the corners, they start to grow bacteria that can spread and be harmful to your health. Packing a fridge too tight is also a bad thing to do. The cold air needs to circulate in order to keep food chilled and preserved.
Remove everything from your refrigerator and clean it with a disinfectant once a month. Make it a habit to toss unused food and rarely used condiments. Try to keep empty space around items on each of the shelves for cold air to circulate.
Hidden damp and mould – Most of the time it can be fairly easy to spot damp and mould however damp and mould can hide Mould especially loves to hang out on fabrics and soft furnishings like carpet. However, at times it can be extremely difficult to locate. All too often it can be found hidden behind wall paper, under floor boards or inside dry walls with very few signs you have mould in your house.
The best way to be is vigilant and ensure you properly ventilate your property and if you suspect you have any damp or mould issues act quickly.
Poor ventilation – You should always ensure you ventilate your home as much as possible. Ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into a space and is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used for purposes of thermal comfort or dehumidification. By ventilating your home, you are stopping indoor air pollutants and the damaging effects they can have on an occupant's health.
You should always turn your bathroom and kitchen extractor fans on before usage and leave them on for around 15 minutes after cooking or showering. Whenever possible it is also advisable that you open windows to allow air to circulate throughout. However, this action does present it’s own problems, opening windows can allow outside air pollutants into the home, if the weather is bad you don’t want to open the windows and make your home cold and if you need to leave your property you probably won’t want to leave the windows open for security.
The perfect solution is to invest in a whole-home ventilation solution. Installing a proper ventilation system in your home will not only drastically improve the pollutant levels it will also improve the humidity levels, by reducing both your home will be much healthier.
Our ventilation systems draw in and circulate fresh air throughout your property, improving the indoor environment. The systems work by fresh air entering from outside, entering through an air exchange then filtering, then displacing throughout the property. As the fresh air circulates negative indoor air particles like dust mites and pollen are filtered out of the property.
We have a range of ventilation solutions to suit any property from a bungalow to a flat to a terrace town house and provide a free home survey to determine your homes ventilation needs. We also offer advise on how you can improve your homes indoor air.
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