By Beverly Nelson
When you look at photos you've taken of your house, you probably just see a clean, cozy home. However, what you don't see are the toxins that could be hidden in even the cleanest-looking homes. It's a fact many homeowners don't know or understand.
It may surprise you to know the air inside many homes may be dirtier than the air outside, which can be particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. Dust, toxic chemicals and gases are just a few of the hidden dangers in your home that could be making your family sick. Here are a few simple ways to eliminate toxic air.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
If you want to ensure the air in your home stays clean, you need to start with your ventilation system. Proper ventilation is the key to keeping your home's air free of harmful toxins. First, have a professional evaluate your central air conditioning system and ductwork. Make sure you have proper ventilation around combustible appliances such as gas stoves, and keep all ventilation areas and ductwork clear of dust and dirt. Suitable ventilation will keep the air in your home healthy and the people breathing it much happier.
Clean Up Your Cleaning and Building Supplies
One of the simplest steps in creating toxin-free homes is to use safe cleaners, building supplies and materials throughout your home. Some of the worst traditional cleaners for your home can contain chemicals that can cause serious harm to your lungs. Ingredients like formaldehyde and chloroform are commonly found in household cleaners, so make the switch to green cleaning supplies and solutions that will keep your family safe. Using no VOC paints to add color to your walls will greatly decrease the amount of chemicals in your air. Other non-toxic building supplies can be safer to use as well.
Let Fresh Air In
It may seem like common sense, but opening a window is a good tip for improving air quality in your home. Letting fresh air into your house can help break up some of the toxins and dust that may be negatively impacting your health. You should also take steps to keep that fresh air clean. Ask any friends who are smokers to take their habit outside. Adding some green to your house, with some air-purifying house plants, can also cut down on toxins. Plants are nature's premier air cleaners, so take advantage by picking up a few non-toxic plants for your home.
Make Sure Your Air Stays Clean
Letting fresh air in and using green cleaners can clear up your air, but you also need to take steps to keep the air clean. If you have pets, be aware that their hair and dander can present problems for people with allergies and breathing issues. Keep your pets groomed, brushed and bathed to cut down on problems, and make sure you keep your surfaces and floors free from fur and dander. Many pet owners use robot vacuums to keep up with the endless shedding. If you are thinking of getting your first pet, consider a hypoallergenic breed to keep allergies and health problems from popping up.
Protect Your Home From Gases and Toxins
Some of the most dangerous toxins lurking in homes are the ones you can't see or clean. Dangerous gases and odors, like VOCs and fumes from fuels, could be polluting the air in your home. Getting an air filter is a great way to reduce these toxins before they cause critical issues with your health. Carbon monoxide is another deadly gas that could leak into your home from gas appliances such as hot-water heaters and stoves. To protect your family from this deadly gas, make sure you have a quality carbon monoxide detector, particularly one with a long battery life and a loud alarm. Also, look into getting your home's air tested for toxins and gases to stay aware of problems before they become serious.
Home should be a refuge from the outside world, but if you aren't taking steps to keep the air in your home clean, your house could be a danger to your health. Protecting your family from hidden dangers can keep them healthy and your home happier.
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