5 Tips for Reducing Dust and Toxins in Your Home

Most people who commute in an urban environment see the smog hanging low over buildings and close their windows, or flip the air on internal circulation when stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. But if you knew just how toxic the air in your home often is, perhaps you’d just open those windows and breathe deep. It’s not your fault by any means, but most houses are full of toxic chemicals, mildew, allergens, mold and dust that cause all sorts of health problems for the residents. It’s not hard to improve things if you know what you’re doing, but it will take a commitment to green products, upkeep and possibly even dropping some poor habits. Here are five tips for reducing dust and toxins in your home.

Start your dust reduction by upping your vacuum schedule. Most people vacuum once a week, or even once every other week. This just isn’t enough. Chemicals linger from construction, and can end up coating your floors or floating through the air even several decades later. So buy yourself a quality vacuum with a certified, anti-allergen HEPA filter, and get down to work with it at least twice a week. Make sure you get in close on each and every corner, and clean out the vacuum bag after every use. Otherwise you might end up blowing the dust you just grabbed back into the air.

Cigarette smoke is packed with toxins, so if you’re a smoker it’s long past time for you to consider quitting. Secondhand smoke is hugely detrimental to the other people in your house, especially the children. Kids can develop serious allergy and asthma problems due to constant cigarette smoke exposure. Always keep it outside, but even then some of the smoke will make its way in through your doors and windows. Your best bet for long term health is to quit smoking today.

You should also have your home professionally tested for toxic chemicals. Science has evolved to the point where a house can be tested for almost anything, from radon to lead. You really don’t want to live in a building that has these issues, or things like brain damage and cancer could be the long term results. Testing isn’t expensive, and you can grab the samples yourself and bring them to the lab facility if you want to save a bit of money.

People often bring all sorts of toxic chemicals into their homes in service of cleaning. The problem is, those harsh cleaners could be doing more damage to your family than the good they do otherwise. The same goes for pesticides or other pest treatments and spray air fresheners. Each of those products ends up in the air, and therefore enters your lungs. Look for organic or natural products to replace those you used to use, and consider addressing the cause of your pest or rodent issues instead of trying to use a chemical band aid.

Finally, do your best to eat as natural and organic a diet as possible. This will help in a wide number of ways. You’ll get more nutrition in your diet, and will keep further pesticides out of your home. If you want to pair these efforts with your goal of energy independence by 2016, start up an organic garden in the backyard. If you give it a bit of time and effort you could greatly reduce your shopping bill. And all of the extra vegetation on your property will increase the air quality around your home as well.

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  3. How to Clean Your Home Without Using Harsh Chemicals
  4. Three Kinds of Plants That Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
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