Featured Image Source: studioroman
By Claire Lee
Our home is a place for resting and relaxation. But if we don’t put in the work to take care of it, it can provide the opposite of safety and comfort.
Luckily, there are easy ways you can take to make your home as healthy as it can be. Here’s everything you need to know about making a safer and healthier home for you and your family.
1. Install water treatment devices
Water treatment can go a long way to protecting your family and your home. Water treatment can be in the form of disinfection, filtration, distillation, reverse osmosis, and water softening.
If you want improved safety for your drinking water straight from the tap, you can instead opt for UV disinfection systems.
Pasteurization is also a good option, but an expensive one at that. Not to mention that this technology isn’t as widely used by the city’s water treatment experts.
To further improve water quality, you can install actuated carbon filters, mechanical filters, oxidizing filters, and neutralizing filters. Do know that these filters are to complement, not replace, disinfection treatments.
Water softening is also a great water treatment service as it removes minerals present in your water supply. This can result in fewer chances of mineral build-up and thus, longer-lasting pipes, water heaters, and faucets.
But if you want the best of these worlds, you can opt for reverse osmosis as this treatment can remove both mineral and biological contaminants in your water.
Just know that reverse osmosis membranes are pretty expensive and require regular inspection and maintenance. It’s also better suggested for households with higher water consumption.
2. Clean your ducts and filters
Cleaning your air ducts regularly not only improves your overall HVAC system’s efficiency but also makes the circulated air healthier. You can clean ducts by yourself, but you may be better off leaving it to the professionals.
Air duct cleaning professionals have access to safe and regulated chemical biocides, so they can remove dust as well as other harmful microorganisms in your vents.
Besides, these experts can also inspect the actual ducts and see if there are any significant blockages.
Even without a professional’s help, you can go a long way to keep your indoor air quality clean. Simply change or clean your HVAC filters every month to get rid of stuck dirt and other microorganisms.
Having your HVAC system serviced by HVAC professionals not only ensures that it’s up and working but also helps you save up on energy costs.
If you have furry pets who frequently shed, then you may want to consider cleaning your filters at least twice a month.
Vermin and other pests can also reside in your air ducts when left unchecked. So, make sure you stay on top of your pest control treatments.
3. Bring natural elements to your home
Most of us are still working or even learning from home, which is why we don’t often get enough sunlight and fresh air. Additionally, these natural elements can also help you save up on your home costs, especially during temperate weather.
And if you need more sunlight in your home and aren’t limited by budget, you can also create a sunroom.
Sunrooms can be a great place to practice your creative hobbies at home. Besides, sunrooms also increase home value while improving your home’s energy efficiency.
But if you find sunrooms too luxurious, you can instead opt for wider window replacements or simple window cleaning services. They’ll still give you enough sun—and fresh air when opened—but they’ll be a bit more affordable.
You can also bring home plants that can improve the freshness of the air inside your house. Of course, you’d need to place these plants near windows so that they get enough sunlight to sustain themselves.
Calgary gardens may have a few of these common and low maintenance houseplants that you can take home:
- ZZ plant
- Snake plant
- Spider plant
- Palms like ponytail, parlor, majesty, and lady palms
- English ivy
- Chinese money plant
And if you truly want low maintenance house plants, you can opt for succulents like:
- Aloe vera
- Burro’s tail
- Christmas cactus
- Crown of thorns
- String of bananas
- Zebra cactus
These types of plants need infrequent watering, with some only needing water when their soil is already dry. But every time you do water, water generously.
Whatever plant you get, make sure you don’t overwater them or overexpose them to the sun. Also, put them in containers with enough breathable room.
For the best results, research what each plant needs and make a watering schedule.
4. Get a humidifier
Now, if you think that last tip was just too much work to be done, then you can certainly benefit from getting a humidifier instead.
Just as its name suggests, a humidifier improves the humidity inside your home. While it certainly can’t give off additional breathable oxygen, it can still improve air quality.
Just make sure you drain them and clean them once a month. You wouldn’t want it to be the growing hotspot of microorganisms that can mix in with your clean indoor air.
Here’s what you can do to avoid unwanted growth of bacteria in your humidifier:
- Drain your humidifier.
- Mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. You can also use 1 gallon of water with a teaspoon of liquid bleach.
- Pour the solution on the humidifier and let it sit for an hour
- Drain your humidifier and rinse with clean water
- Let it dry.
5. Beware of hazardous materials
Many common materials found at home are also hazardous in nature.
For example, asbestos, a common component used in insulation in the 50s, poses harm to your lungs. Inhaling asbestos can even increase the risk of lung cancer.
Because of this, it’s considered one of the most common hazards at home. Here are the places and materials at home which may have asbestos:
- Hot water and steam pipes, boilers, and furnace ducts
- Coal and oil furnaces and door gaskets
- Vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives in tiles
- Stove-top pads
- Artificial ashes in the fireplace
- Stove walls and floors
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Soundproofing, wall paint, and decorative sprays
- Patching and joint compounds
You can take proactive measures against asbestos hazards by cleaning your furnace ducts and chimneys regularly.
Now, do know that materials with asbestos that are still in good condition won’t cause harm. However, damages from scratching, rubbing, extreme vibration and airflow, and improper handling can release asbestos fibres.
To avoid damaging materials, call HAZMAT experts instead for thorough inspections and if applicable, asbestos removal.
And if you have hazardous wastes, you should call HAZMAT waste management companies. Here are some of the hazardous wastes any Calgary home may have:
- Spray cans and other aerosols
- Paint and chemical strippers
- Antifreeze and brake fluid
- Batteries and other electronics
- Pesticides and other poisons
You can also try avoiding harsh cleaning chemicals altogether and opt for gentler and more eco-friendly mixtures and cleaning tools. You can use common ingredients like vinegar and baking soda for cleaning.
But if you aren’t a fan of home remedies, you can instead shop for cleaning products with essential oils and plant extracts as main components.
6. Keep up with home maintenance and cleaning
This tip right here may be the simplest one on the list, but it can go a long way in creating a healthier home. Home maintenance and cleaning are all about routine.
So, you should consider wiping surfaces and vacuuming at least once a week.
If you have carpets at home, you should also get deep cleaning services at least once a year. This simple service can also help retain the quality and colours of your carpets.
While sweeping and mopping floors may be enough maintenance for the rest of the house, the kitchen needs more attention.
After cooking and eating, make sure you wipe tables, stovetops, counters, and other kitchen or with a damp cloth. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can use a soap mixture to clean these surfaces once a day.
Doing these simple tasks can prevent bacterial buildup. It also pays to have drain cleaning services once in a while to avoid unnecessary blockage in your pipes.
7. Schedule regular inspections
Lastly, you can ensure that your home is as healthy as ever by contacting experts for regular inspections.
After the cold and damp season, contact experts for a mould inspection. You can also call these professionals when you encounter water damage.
HVAC contractors are also a big help when it comes to indoor air quality testing. These experts can even suggest necessary actions that can make your atmosphere healthier at home.
More importantly, they can make sure your house is free from carbon monoxide and other harmful gases. Harmful gases usually come from combustion exhausts like the gas range furnace, and fireplace.
In the kitchen, make sure your range hood is working properly.
As for the entire house, make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are responsive and effective. Change their batteries as soon as you find them defective.
You can also install home security or home automation systems in place. Not only can these prevent you from external incidents like burglaries, but also for at-home risks such as fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
And that concludes our list of ways you can make a healthier home in Calgary. We hope they can make you and your family feel safer and healthier, the way it did for ours!
Do you know any other secrets or tips to create a healthier home? Or maybe you want to hear more tips from us about another topic?
We’d love to hear from you should you have any suggestions or requests. But if you want more detailed articles, you can go ahead and check out our other home maintenance guides.