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Healthy Homes

Key Principles of a Healthy Home

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

7 Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality"

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

Be aware of substances in your home that could make you sick.

  • Radon
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Air Fresheners
  • Cleaning Products
  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Formaldehyde
  • Household Hazardous Waste: Paints, Cleaning Chemicals, Pesticides, Gas, etc.

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 and wipe 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:

  • Basement walls and floors
  • 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
  • Outside the Home:
    • Make sure your siding is painted, clean and undamaged to protect your home from moisture
    • Replace worn and damaged roof shingles 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

  • Keep your home free of clutter and as clean as possible
  • Seal exterior gaps with mortar
  • Install weatherstripping at the bottom of basement and garage doors
  • Eliminate all sources of water and food around the house including, pet dishes and bird feeders
  • Keep all food in airtight containers
  • Look for the most common insects: Dust mites, cockroaches, fleas, and ticks

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

  • Open the windows whenever possible
  • Make certain exhaust fans and ventilation systems are working properly and venting air to the outside
  • Run vent fans when cooking or showering
  • Provide extra ventilation when using glues or permanent markers
  • Look for low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products when painting or installing new carpeting

Be aware of the most common dangers in your home

  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries regularly
  • Plan and discuss escape routes and meeting locations in the case of an emergency
  • Keep a fire extinguisher available near the kitchen
  • Keep your house uncluttered and well lit
  • Secure railings and handrails
  • Keep firearms in a locked cabinet with trigger safety locks on at all times
  • Keep pesticides and household cleaners out of the reach of children and properly dispose of unused chemicals and paints