A healthy home is a happy home. Well...maybe that's not a guarantee. But a healthy home is a healthy home and that's important in its own right.
When it comes to reducing the amount of harmful chemicals in today's homes most people think about things like cleaning agents found in kitchens and bathrooms. But there are plenty of other places where these troublesome pests can sneak in. Living rooms can be just as unhealthy as other rooms, but fortunately there are some really easy ways that you can help solve the problem.
Decorate with Houseplants
Houseplants help improve indoor air quality and they look great so having a few scattered throughout a room is a no-brainer. In fact, according to research done by NASA in 1989, it's been determined that having at least one potted plant per every 100 square feet of floor space can drastically improve air quality. Great news, but you have to be careful not to overdo it. The trick to decorating with houseplants is to include enough to add a natural element and clean the air without adding so many that it looks like you're living in a jungle.
No VOC Paints
Low VOC paints are good, but no VOC paints are better. VOC stand for volatile organic compounds and they include a whole host of nasty chemicals. Traditional paints have always contained VOC's but fortunately as the desire for greener products and healthier homes has increased, manufacturers have come up with better options.
Many companies offer paints marked "low VOC" but be wary as there's no real indication of what that means. Lower than what? To be on the safe side it's better to opt for those paints that claim zero VOC's. And fortunately most of the major brands offer them so you don't have to sacrifice color or quality.
Dust and Vacuum Regularly
The dust that gathers in your home is more than just a nuisance - it can be dangerous. Regular house dust can contain all sorts of harmful chemicals that are bad for you to breathe in. So it's important to be vigilant about dusting and vacuuming. Make sure you clean all the surfaces in your home (as well as less conspicuous places like wall trim and above the doors) on a regular basis. Also be sure to vacuum at least twice a week and replace the bag or clean the filter regularly.
Use Low Pile Rugs
Carpets and rugs can harbour dust and allergens, even when vacuumed regularly. The best way to fight this is to choose a rug with a low pile. Flatweave rugs are great options because it's tough for tiny particles to settle in and they're easy to clean. (They're also a decorator's dream because they're full of color and pattern!). If you think you'll miss the softness of cushy rugs underfoot and you don't want to opt for a low pile rug, at least choose something made of natural fibres such as cotton or wool as they are easier to clean than synthetic fibres and they won't off-gas any harmful chemicals.
Take Your Shoes Off
Without a doubt one of the easiest ways you can help your house be healthier is to remove your shoes before coming inside.
We track all sorts of dirt and germs on the bottom of our shoes, so it makes sense to take them off and not track everything through the house! Keep a pair of slippers in your entryway so you can easily slip them on, or go barefoot if you prefer. As long as you're not bringing in the dirt you're helping to make your house a little healthier. And every little bit help!