Last Updated on September 20, 2023
Dirt, dust, dander, and mold can all wreak havoc on your home and lungs if you don’t maintain a regular cleaning schedule. But beyond frequent cleanings, there are many things you can do to keep the air in your home healthy. Here are the best ways to maintain a healthy home.
Keep the humidity levels at bay
Ideally, the humidity levels in your home should be between 40-60%, and preferably below 50%. Sustained humidity above 60% is the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. There are several ways you can ensure your home has appropriate humidity levels.
The bathroom is the area that comes in contact with moisture the most, and as a result, there are many things you can do to combat excess humidity in the bathroom. First, when you shower, close the door and let the exhaust fan run. The exhaust should continue to run for 30 minutes following a shower, with the door closed to the rest of the house. If you do not have an exhaust fan, it’s recommended that you add one, or at the very least, add a countertop dehumidifier that runs throughout the day. Additionally, it’s wise to use a squeegee in the shower to remove excess water from the walls and glass door.
If you happen to have a crawlspace, keep an eye on the humidity levels in your crawlspace. Many crawlspaces in the south are hotbeds for fungal growth, which is why vapor barriers and dehumidifiers are highly recommended to help control moisture in crawlspaces.
The accumulation of dust can lead to allergies and also build up in your home’s ductwork, which contributes to mold growth. A thorough cleaning schedule can help reduce dust. Use a microfiber cloth to remove dust by working from the top down. Don’t forget door frames, ceiling fans, and any horizontal surface where dust can accumulate. Later, go over surfaces with a vacuum.
It’s also a good idea to stay on top of changing your air filters at least every 90 days. If you notice you have a large amount of dust, consider changing out your air filters more frequently. You might also consider investing in filters with a MERV 11 or 13 raiting.
Carpets are notorious for holding dirt and dust, so make sure to stick to a regular vacuum schedule. Beyond normal push-pull style vacuuming, use the cross-hatch method, where you vacuum vertically, then horizontally, and finally diagonally. You don’t need to use this method every time, but once a month should really help to eliminate some of the dust hiding in your carpet.
Don’t forget about vacuuming your upholstery, too! Use a push-pull method to vacuum your fabrics (including your drapes!) once a quarter.
Beyond regular vacuuming, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional carpet cleaning to deep clean your carpets and upholstery every so often!
You might also consider investing in an air filtration unit. Look for an air filtration unit that traps mold spores, dust, smoke, pollen, and dander, in addition to airborne chemicals.
Finally, if you don’t already have a vacuum with a HEPA filter, consider investing in one if allergies and dust are a concern in your home.
Replace commonly used items frequently
It’s recommended to change out mattresses every 8 years and pillows every 1-2 years. If you prefer to change pillows less frequently, invest in a dust mite pillow cover. Beyond changing out mattresses every 8 years, you should vacuum your mattress every quarter.
Clean your ductwork
If your air ducts are dirty, so is the air in your home. A good ductwork cleaning every 3-5 years is appropriate. Be wary of companies that will charge a small amount and be done in an hour when looking for someone to clean your ducts. A thorough duct cleaning costs $500-$1000 and takes at least 4 hours.