What is a healthy home? That’s a question that families have asked for centuries, and the answer remains the same. A healthy home is one that is conducive to good health for all the residents living within. This can be harder to accomplish than you might think!
Thousands, even millions of Americans live in environments where they are regularly exposed to contaminants. Not all of these contaminants produce harmful side effects, but some can have very real consequences for your family’s well being. Today, we’ll be exploring two categories of these health hazards, plus how you can act to protect your family. By the end, you should be able to create your own action plan to tackle home contaminants.
Let’s get started.
Healthy Home Air
While there are many types of contaminants, none affect your health as consistently as those in your home’s air supply. Every home deals with at least some of these impurities. That’s because they occur naturally. Common air contaminants include:
- Skin particles
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Mite fecal matter (gross!)
- Mold spores
- and many more
So how can we face these challenges to make a healthy home and family? First, we have to understand their nature and how they affect us. Afterwards, you can make a plan to address these problems and find a solution that works for your home’s needs.
Dusty Air Duct Troubles
The system that keeps you cozy in the summer is also responsible for circulating contaminants throughout the house. When dander, dust, dirt, etc. is hoovered up into the AC, powerful fans spread them through a series of ducts. You may already feel the physical effects of these allergens: grogginess, sneezing, an irritated throat, coughing, and asthmatic reactions.
There’s one things that stands in the way of this process: your air filter. Proper filtration captures the particles before they shoot fly throughout the house, or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Many homeowners fail to change their filters on a regular basis. As a result, the air becomes littered with dust and other unwanted particles.
Dusty mites may make you feel uncomfortable, but other biological contaminants can be downright dangerous for your health. These include bacteria, viruses, mold spores, mildew, and other serious hazards. While some are spread via coughing and sneezing, mold is spread via spores that are circulated through the air ducts.
A capable air filter and proper humidity will help you combat these challenges. We’ll talk about how to deal with them in a bit.
There are two dangerous gases that are regularly produced inside your home, though most people aren’t exposed to them. One is natural gas, which powers many of your appliances (stove, heater, and others). The second is carbon monoxide, which is produced by an open flame.
When a natural gas line is punctured or it develops a leak, the first sign of a problem is usually a smell of rotten eggs. Physical symptoms of gas exposure include difficulty breathing, faintness, and a heavy chest. Carbon monoxide may be leaked as the result of a damaged furnace. Again, breathing challenges are a key sign of carbon monoxide exposure.
How Can I Make My Home Healthy?
There are two key areas to focus on when creating a healthy home for your family: maintenance and cleaning. By making sure your HVAC appliances are kept in good repair, you can avoid the vast majority of these airborne contaminants. That means regularly cleaning and replacing your air filter, as well as keeping your furnace is leak-free. If elevated humidity regularly has your home struggling against mold or mildew, consider installing a dehumidifier.
If you notice any signs of natural gas or carbon monoxide, you’ll want to talk with a plumber or HVAC technician (respectively). Take these hazards very seriously, as they could endanger your family and your home.
As far as cleaning goes, cleaning out your duct work will neutralize many allergens trapped in your air conditioning system. Consistent vacuuming and dusting every week will also remove particles that have been trapped in the carpet and furniture. Hypo-allergenic sheets and pillow covers should reduce the amount of contaminants your family is exposed to during sleep.
Healthy Home Water
Dealing with contaminants in your water supply is considerably easier, but equally important. Between your city’s water treatment plant and your kitchen sink is a vast system of pipes that are susceptible to damage. Occasionally, contaminants can find their way into the water supply.
What sort of impurities may your home be exposed to? Biological organisms (such as bacteria, amoebae, and fungi) can infiltrate the water line. So can harmful metals and chemicals. While homeowners shouldn’t live in fear, these impurities can cause serious problems without the proper precautions.
How Do You Remove Toxins From Your Home?
A simple carbon filter under the sink can provide you with clean drinking water. For those wanting to take the purification process further, ozone water treatment and whole house reverse osmosis systems are two healthy home products to consider.
Keep your eyes open and regularly examine your drinking water. If you feel uncertain about the cleanliness of your water supply, ask a local expert to perform a quality test! The peace of mind is worth the minor cost.
Get Started Today!
Now that you know the characteristics of a clean and healthy home environment, you can get started on your journey! Part of protecting your property from mold and water damage is keeping your roof in good repair. Our team at Apex Roofing would love to support you and your family by supplying affordable residential roof repair. To learn more, give us a call today at (512) 677-6817 and consult with one of our professionals!