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Is Your Home Clean?

Seems like a simple question – Is your home clean? Many of us would say yes, for the most part it is clean. There might be a loose sock or two lying around and the kids might have just dragged some grass or dirt in, but its not like there is an inch of mud on the floors. Asking if your home is clean is a bit of a loaded question because the answer always NO. Now we are not here to judge your house but we are here to help you understand what factors make it not clean. Notice we are not saying dirty. While dirt does contribute to the uncleanliness of a house, it is not the only factor.

When we refer to a clean house we are looking at things you can see as well as things you can’t. Some are easier than other. For instance when your white rugs look closer to brown than white, they are not clean. If there is dirt and dust all over, it is easy to see that the home is not clean. Where it gets tricky is when you are dealing with unseen or very hard to see contaminates. These would include things floating around in the air like viruses, particulate matter and so forth. Even something like dust is actually hard to see until it piles up on surfaces.

There are numerous items that cause our homes to not be clean. Just daily living in your home is going to cause it to not be clean. Add in pets, kids, guests and so forth and the battle to keep it clean increases exponentially. Here is where we can go one of three ways. First is to ball up in a fetal position and tell yourself you’re doomed. We don’t recommend that. Second is to try and clean everything constantly, hose off the dog and kids every time they come in from outside and basically drive yourself crazy. Again, not what we recommend. Third is to create a strategy to minimize contaminates and increase your indoor air quality. How do you do this?

  1. Look at your home and what activities are causing contaminates. As we have spoken about at length in other blog posts, cooking is one of the top contributors to contaminates in the home. If you are finding grease or other build-up on or around the cooktop that is an indication that you haven’t been using the range hood, don’t have one, or need a better one that vents to the outdoors.
  2. Are you using your bathroom exhaust fans? Exhausting contaminates including moister decreases the possibility of mold and mildew from forming. They also help to remove any off-gassing from things like cleaners.
  3. Do you make everyone take off their shoes when they come into the house so they don’t drag dirt in? Do you brush the dog regularly to decrease the amount of hair floating around (large dog owners we understand, this can be a full time job with a shedding dog in the summer months – do your best).
  4. Do you burn candles? They can be a major contributor to poor indoor air quality. You can read more about that here.
  5. Do you have a regular cleaning routine. We talked about obsessive cleaning and it being a bit unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be part of a regular routine. When using cleaners look for ones with low VOC’s and utilize the exhaust fans of the home (bathroom fans as well as kitchen range hoods) to exhaust any of the cleaning chemicals that are released into the air during the process. On good air quality days, opening a window is also a good option.

So we come back to the first question – Is your home clean? The answer is always going to be no, but hopefully we have given you some things to consider and look for to increase the cleanliness of your home which will have a positive effect on the overall indoor air quality of your home.

For information about exhaust fans, range hoods and fresh air solutions utilize the links at the top of this page.

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