“Homesick” can take on a whole new meaning once you realize that some common things around your home are affecting your health.
While a home can be a safe place, if not cleaned properly, it can also be a petri dish of substances that can make you sick.
With so many things to worry about, it can be easy to overlook the little things, but even those little things can have an impact on your body.
“People really should be paying more attention to good old-fashioned cleaning to stay healthy,” according to Mike Bidwell, president and CEO of Neighborly, a network of home service brands.
Here are some things in your home that are practically invisible, or will require a closer look — and may be affecting your immune system.
3 things in your home that can make you sick
- dirty air filter
- germs, especially in the bathroom or kitchen
dirty air filter
If you’re not changing your air filter often enough, it can reduce the quality of the air in your home, says Bidwell.
She adds that an unclean air filter can trigger allergies and offer less ventilation in your home, reducing your protection against respiratory viruses.
“It’s one of the simplest things a homeowner can do to maintain good indoor air quality, especially during flu season and [with] other respiratory viruses that are going around,” Bidwell says.
Even in warmer months, dust build-up in the filter can worsen your allergy symptoms because pollen and mold can get sucked into the unit and redistributed around the house, he says.
Bidwell recommends replacing your air filter quarterly, at a minimum, to prevent these consequences. If you have any pets or struggle with allergies, he suggests replacing them every 60 days.
According to Dr. Leidy Speck, associate professor of medicine and director of the Invasive Mycoses Clinic at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, mold isn’t as much of a concern in homes as it is more prevalent outdoors.
In fact, mold is everywhere that people have occupied; The spec says that the damage occurs in large quantities within the home.
“Some people can have very high levels of mold in their homes. What you’ll usually see is a worsening of allergies and asthma,” says Speck.
He said this often occurs in people who already suffer from allergies and asthma.
According to Bidwell, common places in the home where you might see life are:
- where tile meets tub in bathroom
- around or inside appliances, especially front-load washing machines
- Cabinets under the sink, especially under the kitchen sink
- bathroom cabinet near or under the sink
Using a solution of bleach and water in a spray bottle, says Bidwell, you can clean mold off hard, non-porous surfaces while wearing rubber gloves and eye protection. “Saturate it thoroughly and let it sit for one to two hours,” he says.
It’s important to make sure you’re diluting every six to eight ounces of bleach with one gallon of water, he advises.
soft surfaces with mold Those, including the drywall and insulation, should be frowned upon, Bidwell says. And Tip strongly advises against using bleach on wood surfaces; Instead he suggests using vinegar to prevent mold growth in those places.
If cleaning mold in your home is beyond your scope or the mold has spread too far, both experts recommend hiring a professional to complete the job.
germs on hard surfaces
During flu season, Bidwell encourages you to frequently wipe down hard surfaces in your home. This includes door knobs, light switches, handles, keyboards, toilets and remote controls.
“Well, those [products] Takes a few minutes to work. You can’t just spray it on and then dry it right away,” he notes.
She added that you should also pay attention to rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, where most germs tend to accumulate, especially if you have kids at school who could bring viruses into the house.
“It’s a good thing to walk around and check on these things sometimes,” says Bidwell.
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