A healthy home is a maintained home. Home maintenance is the act of caring your home by inspecting, cleaning and repairing your home as necessary. It is more than just clearing the table of the dishes from dinner or doing your laundry on a regular maintenance; rather it is an active and diligent process of making sure that the home is operational, clean, and clutter free to prevent and reduce home hazards.
For homeowners that worry about asthma and allergies:
- Wash all bedding in hot water and detergent at least once a week and make sure the clothing is completely dry before storing away.
- Use pillow covers and zippered mattress covers that prevent dust mites.
- Regularly change the filter in the furnace/AC; check to see if your equipment can handle a filter that is rated MERV 8 or higher
- Clean pet beds and litter boxes frequently
- Avoid air fresheners, incense, and candles
- Vacuum carpets and rugs regularly
To avoid moisture and mold issues in your home:
- Try to keep the humidity in your home between 30 to 50 percent in the home (too high and it will make your AC work harder to pull the moisture out of the air and any less can create an uncomfortable indoor environment.
- Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to pull out excess moisture from showers and cooking
- Fix leaking sinks and pipes right away; check for leaks in ceilings, walls and windows that could be indicative of a larger leak from plumbing or the roof.
Avoid pests in your home by:
- Keeping food stored in sealed containers, including pet food
- Use spray foam and caulking to seal cracks around exterior doors, windows, pipe penetrations, and other holes where pests could enter into the home.
- Avoid letting trash and clutter build up inside by taking out the trash regularly and securing the trash cans with lids
- Utilize integrated pest management techniques that deter pests from living in the home while keeping you and your family safe from harsh and toxic pesticides.
Protect Yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by:
- Having your air conditioner, furnace, gas water heaters, gas stove and other combustible appliances serviced on a regular basis to ensure proper operation. Have them check not only for unintentional spillage of CO into the home but proper operation to reduce the amount of CO produced by those appliances.
- Install a CO monitor near every bedroom on each floor and any rooms with direct access to attached garages. Check proper operation and battery levels per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Avoid using stoves and gas grills to heat your home and avoid using gasoline engines, generators, and other powered equipment inside the home.