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Healthy Homes

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Key Principles to a Healthy Home

How to make sure your indoor air quality is healthy for you and your family.

Keep it:

Clean up to reduce allergens and dust particles and keep pests away.

  • Reduce clutter
  • Damp dust weekly
  • Vacuum twice a week: HEPA filter vacuums are best
  • Wash sheets in hot water to kill dust mites and allergens
  • Clean carpets professionally every year
  • Wash curtains monthly
  • Don’t allow pets on the furniture
  • Remove your shoes before entering your home
  • Place a commercial grade doormat at all high traffic entrances

Too much water in the home causes mold, structural damage, and provides optimal conditions to attract pests

  • Regularly clean areas with water: Kitchen and bathrooms
  • Make sure tubs and sinks are not pooling
  • Look for condensation on windows-dry if wet
  • Run exhaust fans while showering and cooking
  • Dry clothing thoroughly before folding
  • Seal cracks with caulk
  • Clean gutters regularly to prevent water build up
  • Discard items ruined by water

Look for mold in these places:

  • Basements
  • Attics
  • Wet clothing
  • Tubs, sinks, toilets, washing machine
  • Drywall and insulation

Maintenance ensures the vital systems (ventilation, plumbing and waste management) in your home are in good shape and running efficiently.

  • Inside the Home:
    • Remove garbage and materials for recycling from your home regularly
    • Participate in energy and water efficiency programs
    • Check for leaks: Examine pipes under sinks and in your basement
    • Check and clean the pipes and filters in all appliances
    • Repair leaks immediately before mold has a chance to grow
    • Check the flues, filters, and vents of your heating systems to ensure they are clean and connected properly
    • Use non-traditional transportation options: Carpools, buses, bikes, etc.
  • Outside the Home:
    • Make sure your siding is painted, clean and undamaged to protect your home from moisture
    • Replace warn and damaged roof singles to prevent water from getting inside
    • Clean and unblock your dryer vent twice a year
    • Repair broken windows as soon as possible
    • Look for peeling paint: it contributes to poor indoor air quality
    • Check the caulking around windows and doors frames
    • Clean gutters and downspouts
    • Check for signs of rodents, bats, and termites

Insects and rodents can trigger allergies and asthma and spread disease. Pests seek out food, water, and hiding places

Ventilation expels dust and odors and keeps your home dry and mold free

  • Run the fan when cooking or showering
  • Open the windows periodically
  • When painting or installing new carpeting use low or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products as they can trigger asthma
  • Use extra ventilation when using glues or permanent markers
  • Make certain exhaust fans and ventilation systems vent air to the outside
  • Check carbon monoxide, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers regularly

Be aware of the most common dangers in your home

  • Fire: Install detectors in every floor of your home and plan escape routes
  • Falls: Keep your house well lit and uncluttered.  Secure railings and handrails
  • Firearms: Keep in a locked cabinet with trigger safety locks on at all times
  • Use non-toxic pesticides
  • Choking and suffocation: Watch children carefully and keep them from putting objects in their mouths
  • Poisoning: Keep pesticides and household cleaners out of the reach of children and properly dispose of all unused household chemicals