It may sound creepy, but your home is filled with unseen residents in the form of built up gunk and other pollutants. Although it’s impossible to completely rid your house of all of these elements, it’s important that you try and maintain proper cleaning standards to keep these pollutants from overtaking your home. When found in high concentrations, some of these contaminants can have adverse effects on your health and pose long-term risks to you and your family.
In order to properly defend yourself, it’s important to understand where and how these pollutants accumulate. The good news is that, as long as you’re aware of the hazards facing you in your home, it’s often easy to address these points of concern.
Here are some of the most common unseen health hazards in your home:
Mold and fungus in carpeting
That musty smell in your home could be coming from your carpet. Carpet fibers are excellent at collecting and retaining moisture, creating a breeding ground for mold and fungus, and the spores from these growths can get in your air and agitate allergies and even those without sensitivities. And traditional cleaning methods such as steam cleaning and shampooing aren’t always able to kill off mold and fungus. The challenge of getting rid of these contaminants can get worse the longer they’re allowed to populate.
Clean carpets regularly with a mixture of alcohol, vinegar, cleaning solution and warm water. But be prepared: In extreme cases, you may need to replace the carpet to completely remedy the problem.
Air filter buildup
Air filters are essential to maintaining the air quality in your home. But as they are used, they fill up with the junk that gets sucked into your home’s ventilation. As a result, air filters get less effective over time, resulting in more particulates being passed through your filter and back into your home’s air supply.
The simple solution, though, is to keep up-to-date on replacing your air filter. Check your air filter regularly and replace it when it reaches its expiration date, or when the filter is clearly filled up with dust and other contaminants.
Furniture polish fumes
Polishing furniture is a great way to spiff it up while clearing off dust, but it can also be dangerous. The fumes on furniture polish can be hazardous to your health, and if you clean in an enclosed space the effects can be even worse. Whenever you use furniture polish, make sure the room is well-ventilated, and keep children away from the area, if possible.
Cleaning products and air fresheners
It’s not just furniture polish that can release harmful chemicals into the air. Virtually any cleaning product can evaporate into your home’s air and enter your body through respiration. Even air fresheners, which are used to improve the smells in your home, can actually worsen the indoor air quality of your home. By limiting your use of air fresheners and employing better ventilation when using cleaning products, you can bolster home’s indoor air quality and reduce your exposure to harmful pollutants.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of the perils in your home, but it’s a good starting point if you’re serious about improving the quality of your living environment. Making a few simple changes and being more diligent in your home’s maintenance can go a long way toward minimizing the presence of these contaminants. The health benefits of these simple measures will continue to reveal themselves well into the future.