Healthy Homes – 5 Ways to Make Your Home Safer and Healthier
A few small changes can improve the health of your home, everyone in it and the planet that it is built on.
All Jagoe Homes are built Energy Smart! This means that our homes help you save money AND are good for the environment! Drafty doors and windows – along with poor insulation and inefficient heating and cooling systems – lead to energy loss.
An energy efficient home provides year-round comfort as well as peace of mind, knowing you contributed directly to reducing carbon and greenhouse emissions now – and for future generations. Just as importantly, homeowners save money weekly, monthly, annually, and throughout the years of owning a Jagoe Home.
1. Build New!
New homes aren’t only more Energy Efficient, but also do not come along with serious hazards such as radon and lead paint.
The main source of lead is old paint and dust that forms when paint chips and erodes. Lead paint can be a problem in any home built before 1978, when lead paint was banned.
Radon is cancer-causing, radioactive gas. Radon detectors are now available in Smart Home technology that you can install in your home. You can also buy a $20 home radon test kit at most hardware and home stores.
2. Get house dust under control.
House dust aggravates allergies. It also contains more hazardous chemicals than you might think. Vacuum frequently! Get into corners, along the floorboards, and move your furniture to get those dust bunnies.
Make sure your vacuum has strong suction and a HEPA filter so that dust and dirt go into the bag.
- Vacuum at least two times each week.
- Clean the vacuum bag and filter every time, so dust isn’t spewed back into the air.
3. Filter your tap water.
Filtered tap water may be a better choice of drinking water than bottled water. In a recent study, the Environmental Working Group tested 10 best-selling brands of bottled water. Researchers found mixtures of 38 contaminants, including bacteria, fertilizer, and industrial chemicals, all at levels similar to those found in tap water.
A simple pitcher-type water filter may be all you need for very drinkable water, Baker advises. There are also filters that attach to a faucet or to the plumbing system. This will require you to change filters regularly, but will also save you money in the long run!
4. Make your own household cleaners.
Some of the items in your pantry, like baking soda and vinegar, are as effective as all-purpose cleaners. Even better, they cost next to nothing! So the next time you’re staring down a big mess but you’re out of your favorite cleaning product, don’t run to the store — try one mixing up one of these DIY homemade cleaners instead!
5. Wash Your Hands!
We hear this more during cold and flu season, but frequent hand-washing keeps germs from getting passed around. But for young children, hand-washing is a good habit that can keep them from ingesting toxins from house dust. What your vacuum doesn’t pick up, a toddler’s hands will!
And studies show regular soap and water works just as well for killing germs. It’s about the process, not the product. Moisten hands, rub thoroughly with soap, getting backs of hands, between fingers, and around nail beds, and rinse. Singing the ABC’s while you do it will ensure you do it for an adequate amount of time, about 20 seconds. Be sure adults in your house wash their hands frequently, especially after coming indoors. Ask visitors to do the same.