Most of us spend a whole lot of time in our homes and want our families to be as safe and healthy as possible there.
Some families experience frustrating illnesses due to things like mold, *indoor allergies, poor air quality, or germs. We don’t want to see this happen! Everyone should be able to be healthy at home, so we’d like to share four ways to help your family enjoy a healthy house.
1. Control the Humidity Levels
It’s important to keep the relative humidity in the house in a healthy range (between 30-50%). A comfortable humidity level benefits people, by slowing the growth of many allergens in your home and lubricating mucosal membranes. Keeping a normal humidity in the house also protects your home from damage.
Low humidity levels cause people’s nasal passages, skin, and eyes to be too dry. This often happens in the winter months when outdoor humidity levels are low and the heat runs a lot, causing indoor humidity to decrease even more. When our mucosal membranes are dried out, we can’t fight off viruses and bacteria as easily. We may also suffer from nosebleeds and flaky, itchy, dry skin. A room humidifier or whole-home humidifier can make a big difference in the winter!
High relative humidity levels (above 50%) are also a problem because too much water vapor in the air facilitates mildew and mold growth. That is why bathrooms need an exhaust fan with a humidity sensor to help pump the humid air out in order to reach an ideal indoor humidity. If your home has high humidity levels in other rooms, a single room dehumidifier, whole home-dehumidifier, or crawl space dehumidifier may solve this problem.
2. Minimize Indoor Allergens
Indoor allergy symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, sinus drainage, itchy eyes, wheezing/asthma, and can sometimes become more severe to the point of anaphylaxis.
If someone in your home suffers from other indoor allergies, there are plenty of things you can do to help them breathe easier and feel healthy in your home.
Dust allergies, pet dander allergies, and cockroach allergies are very common. Take some of these steps to give your family real relief.
Indoor Allergy Prevention
If possible, remove carpets, heavy drapes, clutter, and upholstered furniture. People who experience dust allergy symptoms do better with hard surfaces that don’t provide little nooks and crannies for dust and dust mites to hide in. Removing the clutter and stacks of papers around the room also makes it much easier to dust and keeps roaches at bay.
Choose hardwoods, engineered wood, tile, luxury vinyl planking, concrete, or other smooth flooring surfaces. If you want something soft on the floors, choose washable area rugs and wash them weekly.
For furniture, go with hard plastics, leather, or synthetic leather that can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Cover your family member’s pillows and mattresses with allergen-proof covers and bedding. Wash bedding often in 130F water, if possible.
Consider using no curtains or drapes at all or choose roller blinds that can easily be wiped down. If you must have curtains, opt for washable fabrics that you can launder often.
Vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter or use a dust-capturing dust mop or wet mop. If cockroaches are a big allergy concern, invest in a reputable pest control service.
Pet Dander Allergy Prevention
If you have dogs or cats in your home and a family member with a pet dander allergy, the best thing for the allergy sufferer’s health is to find a different loving home for the pet. Or create a living space for the pet outside or in a detached building.
But if your family wants the pet to stay and the allergies are not too severe, try these tips.
Bathe the pet twice per week. Groom the pet outside. Research feeding your pet a special diet that may help reduce allergens.
The allergic family member should minimize direct contact with the pet. If they do touch the pet, they should immediately wash their hands. And they shouldn’t allow the pet in their bedroom.
3. Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Especially if loved ones in your home have breathing issues or are allergic to cigarette smoke, don’t allow cigarette smoke in the home. If you are concerned about indoor air pollution, have indoor air quality testing done on your home to see what pollutants you have and how you can best clean the air.
One way to help keep allergies and other respiratory issues under control is to invest in a home air purifier. Air purifiers for allergies or smoke may use activated carbon filters, UV rays, or HEPA filters to cleanse the air.
Be sure that some fresh air is able to get into your home, that your house isn’t sealed up too air-tight. If it is, you may need to open windows occasionally or invest in a heat recovery ventilator to improve ventilation and get rid of stale, allergen-filled air.
4. Discourage the Spread of Harmful Germs
Another way to keep your family healthy is to make it harder for bacteria and viruses to live on surfaces that everyone tends to touch. Of course, cleaning doorknobs, light switches, faucets, sinks, and toilets with proper disinfecting agents helps a lot. But you could do a lot less cleaning if you invest in some of these products.
Copper has antimicrobial properties that cause bacteria and viruses not to be able to live as long when in contact with this metal. Copper doorknobs or copper faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen can help prevent the spread of germs between family members and friends.
Or opt for a touchless kitchen faucet. Not only will you not get germs on the faucet, but you won’t get other messy things on it, either, when you are busy cooking.
Ready to design the healthy home of your dreams in the Lexington, SC area?
At Blythe Building Company, we turn people’s dream homes into reality as we help families build luxury homes.
Please contact us today!
We build in areas like Lexington, Chapin, Lake Murray, Lake Carolina, downtown Columbia, Pine Ridge, Ballentine, and others.
Cleaning and Disinfection for Households by CDC.gov
Control Indoor Allergens by aafa.org
Indoor Air Quality by aafa.org
*NOTE: Please speak with your allergist or doctor about medications, treatments, and other tips that may help with indoor allergy symptoms, respiratory issues, or medical problems. If any family member is having allergy or illness symptoms and you aren't sure what the cause is or how serious it is, please call or visit your medical doctor right away.
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