Your New Year’s Healthy Home Checklist
Many people associate the New Year with having a fresh start for your mind and body. While this is definitely a great time to work on creating healthier habits, it’s also the perfect time to take a look at the health of your home. You’re about to spend the majority of the coming months indoors, so why not make sure you’re in the best environment possible? Here’s where to start:
- Inspect your electrical equipment. Take a lap around your home and check for any damaged cords on TVs, stereos and other electrical devices like fans and computers. Make sure there are no exposed wires, splices, fraying or kinks (this is especially important if you have cats or dogs in the home).
- Test all detectors. Do a quick count and make sure that you have enough smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that homes have a detector installed on each level, as well as in each bedroom and outside every sleeping area. Make sure these alarms have fresh batteries, hit the test button to ensure they work correctly. Now is also a good time to jot down in your calendar reminders to check smoke detectors on the first of every month and to replace the batteries again in six months (they should be changed twice a year).
- Clean your household appliances. Be sure to give your kitchen range hood screens, dryer vents and screens, and exhaust, air and vacuum filters a good cleaning. A good cleaning does two things: Improves your home’s air quality and decreases the risk of a house fire. Use a grease-fighting dish soap and hot water to clean range hood screens and exhaust filters. To clean your dryer vent, simply remove the outside of the vent and use an extendable lint brush to clean the inside of the vent pipe. You should also schedule a visit from a professional to clean and tune furnace filters, boilers and hot water heaters. They will also check to make sure that your gas appliances and filters aren’t releasing extra carbon monoxide. This should be done in both the beginning of the year and the fall.
- Check for mold-loving environments. Check under every sink and behind your washer and dishwasher for leaks (water where it shouldn’t be can cause mold). If you have an attic, check for any leaks from the roof and make sure that there’s enough ventilation to prevent moisture.
For more tips on creating a healthy home, check out these blogs:
- Easy, Affordable Ways to Winterize Your Home
- Four Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Safer and Healthier
- Get Fresher Indoor Air and Breathe a Little Easier
Photo credit: Ann