By Jim Blake
Remember when your mother said, “A clean house is a healthy house”? She was right. The dust you inhale every day pollutes your lungs and makes you susceptible to illness. It’s even worse if you suffer from allergies.
Aside from dusting and mopping the floors, some home updates may be in order. We know how important it is to change the heating and air conditioning filters. But other home updates can keep you healthy as well. Here are five ideas to get you started on a quest for health and wellness.
1. Water Filters
Clean, chemically free water starts with the right kind of filter system. Small-to-medium water pitchers are a good start, but they take up space in the refrigerator. Commercial-grade filters come in different varieties. Some fit under the sink. You can buy a reverse-osmosis system where standard household pressure forces water through filters. You can attach most filters to the spigot. Update your Northern California home with clean water for drinking, cooking, and washing.
2. Air Quality
Monitoring the air in your home will help you breathe easier 24/7. Dry air can lead to:
- Clogged nasal passages
- Sinus pain
- Itchy skin
An air scrubber plus removes the source of toxins and allergens, including:
- Pet hair
- Dust from carpeting, upholstery, and other permeable surfaces
- Dust mites
- Airborne dust
Another benefit? An air scrubber will also extend the life of your HVAC system.
After a few years, the walls of your home could use a fresh coat of paint. But paints and colorants that contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) give off a chemical smell that tends to linger. Breathing in that stuff can give you a headache or kick up an allergy. VOCs are gasses from paints, varnishes, aerosol sprays, glues, and adhesives. Other household products, such as cleaners, disinfectants, and upholsteries, also contain VOCs. Before heading to the paint store, do your homework on what products do and do not have VOCs.
4. Outdoors to Indoors
Amping up your outdoor living space with greenery lets you breathe easier, especially at night. The right plants can filter out airborne chemicals, dust, and germs as they emit oxygen and purify household toxins. Growing aloe vera, snake plants, lady palm, English ivy, and bamboo are just a few good choices for indoors. Planting an outdoor garden or an indoor garden wall with wooden slats and hanging shelves lets you enjoy the smells and tastes of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
5. Bright Light
Nothing can lift your spirits more naturally than bright light. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people, especially during the winter, when natural sunlight is in short supply. To brighten up the place, set out a few light therapy boxes in different areas of the home. Replace heavy draperies with easy-to-open shades, blinds, and sheers. Today’s energy-efficient LED light bulbs are brighter than the old incandescent, and they don’t give off as much heat.
Deciding to update your home for health reasons is the first step to making yourself feel better. Being healthy in both body and mind allows you to tackle those chores that are easy to put off. Focusing on your health gives you that needed boost.
Jim Blake is a lifestyle and environmental writer who enjoys making the most of small spaces. His balcony is covered with a garden he built with upcycled materials.