The Eight Principles Of A Healthy Home
Carey Chesney3-Minute Read
January 21, 2021
For many, 2020 was a year of contemplating their health and well-being. COVID-19 made it hard not to think a little bit harder about staying healthy. To stay safe, we all spent a lot more time than usual in our homes. So, if you combine those two ideas into one succinct thought, you might be left wondering “what makes a healthy home?”
What Is A Healthy Home Environment?
The concept of a healthy home can mean many different things to many different people, but to create some uniform standards, the U.S. government, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has established Eight Healthy Home Principles. In fact, HUD offers a wealth of healthy home information. The principles they have established – which we we’ll cover here – have been widely adopted by a variety of organizations, including nonprofit housing agencies, as the standards to strive for.
Do These 8 Things To Have A Healthy Home
While this is by no means a complete list of all the various things you can do to have a healthy home, following these principles will go a long way.
1. Keep It Dry
While it’s easier said than done, depending on where you live, keeping your home as dry as possible is a critical component of having a healthy home.
A few key ways you can do this are by keeping rainwater out through proper gutter maintenance and repair and outside grading, monitoring your interior plumbing for any leakage, and always being alert to the possible presence of mold in your home.
Keep an eye on the basement (if your home has one) and enlist a professional inspector to check things out. Expert advice can help you prevent and fix water damage.
2. Keep It Clean
Minimizing allergens in the home is a great way to keep your family breathing easy. Some of the steps you can take to accomplish this are frequently vacuuming, wet- and dry-dusting and removing clutter.
If it seems like too much work that you don't have time for, consider maintaining a regular cleaning schedule and splitting up the tasks among all the able members of your family. And remember, the less stuff you have, the less there is to clean, so consider a minimalist approach to furnishings and decor.
3. Keep It Safe
If there are young children in your family, baby-proofing and child-proofing your home is a must.
Ways to keep those precious little ones safe could include:
- Labeling and storing items that can be poisonous carefully out of the reach of children
- Installing gates around stairs and other dangerous locations
- Putting rubber bumpers on counter corners
Regardless of the age of the occupants, be sure to Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Change their batteries on a consistent basis to avoid being caught in a major health emergency.
Also, be sure to keep fire extinguishers and first-aid kits readily available and maintain both at regular intervals.
4. Keep It Well-Ventilated
Good ventilation is critical when maintaining a healthy home environment. Have an HVAC professional inspect the whole-house ventilation systems for supplying fresh air so they can make recommendations for reducing the concentration of contaminants in the home.
Ensure you have the right filter on your HVAC system and replace it regularly. This will keep the cleanest air possible circulating throughout your house.
5. Keep It Pest-Free
If you have a serious pest problem, it’s best to call the experts. If you want to prevent one, consider sealing cracks and openings throughout the home and storing food in pest-resistant containers.
For smaller pest issues you can use sticky traps where needed but try to avoid the use of toxic pesticides inside the home. Sometimes the solution can make your home less healthy than the problem.
6. Keep It Contaminant-Free
Common household hazards like lead-based paint and radon can be extremely hazardous to the health of you and your family, depending how prevalent they are.
If you live in an older home (pre-1978) be sure to keep your painted surfaces in good repair and wet-dust frequently around windows and doors. It’s also a good idea to check for radon, a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces and foundation cracks.
7. Keep It Maintained
Keeping your home generally well-maintained and cleaned on a regular basis will go a long way in helping you identify and repair minor problems before they become major ones.
8. Keep It At A Healthy Temperature
Maintaining a comfortable and healthy temperature for the area you live in can help keep the occupants of your home happy and healthy. That said, be cognizant of how the temperature of your home is affecting your energy bills, so your mental health doesn't become impacted when you are surprised with a larger-than-expected bill.
Keeping Your Home Healthy Will Make Your Home Happier
Following these basic principles is a great way to start making sure you’re creating a healthier home environment for yourself and your loved ones. For more information about healthy homes, check out our homeowner tips.
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