Clean Air: A Healthy and Happy New Home
Clean Air: A Healthy and Happy New Home
Guest Blog by Erin Reynolds, The DIY Mama
You’ve bought a new home— congrats! While the hard part is over, there is still some heavy lifting to do, especially as you look toward moving day. Start your new adventure off on the right foot by making sure your new home has more than just clean floors and walls, but also clean air.
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that the quality of air inside your home can be more polluted than what’s wafting outside your front door. Eliminating dust, allergens and pollutants from the air before you move in will work wonders on both a happy home and a happy life. Before you move into your new home, be sure to give your bare canvas a good deep cleaning by:
- Taking a duster to ceiling fan blades. If they are extra dusty, slide an old pillow case around each blade to catch the dust.
- Wiping down the inside of the refrigerator. Don’t forget to move it so you can clean under and behind it.
- Using carpet cleaner that kills and removes fleas and ticks, especially if you know the former homeowner had pets.
- Washing the insides of cabinets, closets and cupboards. Remember to wipe down handles, knobs and other hardware.
- Scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom. Be sure to get baseboards and behind the toilet and appliances.
- Washing windows and dusting window sills. Before you hang your curtains and drapes, run them through the washing machine.
Getting this baseline of cleanliness in your home will not only do amazing things for the items you touch, but also the air you breathe. You can take extra measures to reduce allergens and pollutants in your indoor air by:
- Replacing your old mattress. If any of your family members’ mattresses have been slept on for over five years, they’re home to hazardous organisms, including dust mites and bacteria, that you don’t want clogging up the air in your fresh, new home (not to mention your family’s lungs).
- Using dust mite-blocking covers on old or new mattresses, comforters and pillows.
- Opening windows when using cleaners, solvents and chemicals.
- Setting out a few indoor plants that are known to be natural air filters, such as peace lilies, chrysanthemums and English ivy.
- Getting your pet professionally groomed before you move in.
- Changing your air conditioning filter right when you move in, and keeping a regular schedule of changing and cleaning it every few months.
- Replacing any cabinets made from particleboard, which emits formaldehyde, with stainless steel or formaldehyde-free fiberboard.
- Double checking that all kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans lead outside, not into attics or crawl spaces.
- Keeping humidity around 50 percent by purchasing a humidifier for dry climates and a dehumidifier for moist ones.
The American Lung Association lists poor indoor air as one of the top causes for lung cancer, and links it to allergies, asthma, pulmonary issues and heart problems. It’s easy for air quality to slip our minds— it’s not as obvious as a dirty floor, cluttered room or mildew in the shower. That’s why moving into a new home is the perfect time to start making clean indoor air a priority. You can maintain your progress after day one by:
- Keeping an eye out for signs of mold and calling professionals to eliminate it as quickly as possible.
- Making the tasks of cleaning and changing air filters part of your regular home-maintenance schedule.
- Keeping pets brushed and groomed regularly. If your schedule is too busy for a bi-weekly vacuum of all rugs and carpets, consider purchasing an automated vacuum robot, like a Roomba or a Shark.
Moving into a new home is an exciting new adventure, but it’s also an ideal time to reset and reflect. Making new priorities stick can be hard, but the fresh start of a recent move can be very motivating and inspiring. Taking steps to create a clean-air routine will not only keep your new home happier, but also keep your family healthier.