Post details: 25 Things to Know: Healthy Homes - Part 2

02/17/05

Permalink 02:14:26 pm, Categories: Articles, 456 words   English (US)

25 Things to Know: Healthy Homes - Part 2


VentilationVentilation

13. Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. A range hood helps keep kitchen air clean by expelling pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide, that are generated by a gas stove. Bathroom fans reduce condensation that can lead to mold growth.

14. Indoor air pollution can be up to five times higher than outdoor air pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So consider an air purifier to control odors, chemical vapors, and pollutants in your home. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters are used in air purifiers to remove microscopic particles. Some units pair a HEPA filter with a secondary filtration system, such as activated carbon, to remove odors.

15. Battle bacteria on kitchen surfaces. Sanitize sponges by tossing them into the microwave or dishwasher. Make sure countertops and cutting boards are nonporous surfaces, and clean them regularly.

16. To allow for natural ventilation during mild weather and air exchanges while cleaning, keep windows operable and unobstructed. It's best to place windows on multiple walls to allow cross ventilation.

17. In the name of efficiency, new homes are often sealed so tightly that they get little fresh air. Mark LaLiberte, a building consultant with Building Knowledge, Inc., in Minneapolis, says homes should include a ventilation system to exhaust stale air and bring in fresh. The system should be based on the home's size, structural tightness, climate, and number of occupants.

Dust ControlDust Control

18. Consider replacing carpet with easy-to-keep-clean flooring, such as hardwood, tile, linoleum, and bamboo.

19. Limit the dust in your living space by choosing easy-to-clean window treatments. Flat-weave cotton and linen fabrics are smart selections. It's best to avoid heavily textured draperies and blinds, which can collect dust.

20. To minimize accumulated household dust, display hard-to-clean collectibles behind glass doors.

21. Remodeling stirs up dust. After your project is complete, hire a licensed company to clean out your home's duct system.

22. To keep dust mites at bay in the bedroom, put allergy-control covers on mattresses and pillows, and be sure to wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry on high heat.

23. Buy a quality vacuum to help corral allergens and dust mites in the house. Look for a vacuum with an agitator, high suction, high filtration (such as HEPA filters), and tools for cleaning furniture, draperies, ceilings, and baseboards.

24. A central vacuum system can outperform conventional vacuums in removing dust and allergens from your house, according to a study conducted by the University of California Davis School of Medicine. Most existing homes can be easily retrofitted with the systems.

25. Create a mudroom, which does more than keep a home neat. It isolates tracked-in dirt and moisture that can cultivate mold and attract dust mites.

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