Moving into a new home feels like a breath of fresh air.
There’s the new carpet and paint smells, absence of stuffiness and lack of clutter. It’s a new place for a new life. But there’s at least one tenant that probably hasn’t left the building: the indoor pollutants and contaminants left behind from the past. It might not be the case that the previous owners of your new house were dirty people.
They simply might not have known that they were pumping toxins into the place.
As the new owner of this home, you can avoid those mistakes by taking some precautions. It’s important to know what’s in the air inside your home, how it could be making you sick, and how to prevent or get rid of the problem. The EPA’s list of indoor pollutants and their sources is a helpful place to start.
There are several factors that affect indoor air quality:
- building materials
- pet dander
- radon gas
- poor ventilation.
But there’s a solution or preventative action for each of these issues. Aside from keeping your home clean using natural cleaning products, you can also do the following:
- change air filters,
- don’t smoke inside
- fix water leaks
- pay attention to odors
- test for radon
- install carbon monoxide detectors
- keep your home pest-free.
Indoor air pollution can cause asthma, allergies, and upper respiratory infections.
Cigna has tips to reduce exposure to pollutants by controlling moisture and improving ventilation, reducing allergens and heating problems, and avoiding toxins in household furnishings and products.
Add air filtration systems to your HVAC and replace old air filters with clean ones to trap dirt that could be floating around inside.
Moisture buildup from poor ventilation can cause mold.
Open the windows to let the air flow, and check for any cracks that would allow moisture to enter and remain trapped inside.
Mold can be dangerous to your respiratory system, with symptoms being asthma, chronic coughing and frequent sneezing. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to rid your home of this harmful contaminant.
Cover all the Bases
Before you move out of your old place, you’ll want to thoroughly clean the house to get your deposit back and to get it ready for showings and future tenants. Once all of your belongings are packed and loaded, focus on the bare bones of the house, especially the parts that never got cleaned.
Scrub, dust, vacuum, sweep, and mop all surfaces. Clean inside and underneath appliances and cupboards.
The new house might look clean when you move in, but you can’t always trust that the previous tenants had the same cleaning standards as you.
There’s always some hidden spot that can be cleaned, like fan blades and air conditioner vents, or unseen germ traps, like bathtubs and appliances. For both move-out and move-in cleaning, this list will help you remember to clean spots that you might have otherwise overlooked.
Maintain a Healthy Space
Maintenance is just as important as getting your house ready for living. As you continue to live in it, the house will become filled with allergens like dust mites, dander, and pollen.
To get rid of these allergens, clean all surfaces and materials, both hard and soft. Cover the obvious bases like counters, bedding, and floors. Don’t forget about oft-neglected dust-trappers like curtains, upholstery, area rugs, and throw pillows.
Keep your house clean by tackling a little bit each day to avoid overwhelming yourself with a long day of arduous chores. If you clean a little bit here and there, it’ll become more like maintenance than an overhaul each time.
For the larger jobs and deeper cleaning, you can hire a maid to come in every month.
A new home is an exciting place for a change, but this breath of fresh air might actually be a haven of not-so-fresh air. With awareness and action, you can prevent asthma, allergies, respiratory problems, and lung cancer.
Say goodbye to indoor pollutants, toxins and contaminants; and take control of your health by taking control of your home.