Eco-Friendly Cleaning (for a Healthy Home)
It’s true that a clean home can benefit both our physical and mental well-being, but that often depends on HOW our homes are cleaned. Some cleaning products have the opposite effect on health. We’ll stop short of villainizing cleanliness, however. In fact, cleaning is among the most beneficial actions home owners can take to ensure healthy indoor air quality (IAQ), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Despite this, certain household cleaners and chemicals are also listed among the Agency’s top sources of indoor air pollution. So how can we keep a clean home without polluting the air we breathe? Fortunately, a few simple actions can help you avoid the pitfalls of household cleaning and help you maintain—or improve—indoor air quality in your home.
The experts at Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning have done some homework to help households with eco-friendly cleaning tactics.
Be Selective When Buying Products
Studies show that when our environment is clean, we perform better at work and school, and feel better about ourselves, but when household cleaning chemicals contribute to air pollution, the benefits of cleaning could be negated. The most important step homeowners can take is to be selective about the products they use.
Household cleaning products have a number of functions. Some products work to break down grease and others utilize chemicals to remove gunk from various surfaces. The chemicals used to accomplish these tasks—as well as other tasks such as air scenting—can pose a health risk to people when they vaporize into the air around us. Of course, not all of these chemicals are dangerous to humans. To help identify safer household cleaning products, the EPA developed the Safer Choice standard. A list of these products can be found at their website. Safer Choice products undergo a rigorous evaluation of chemical ingredients as well as their performance to help consumers find products that avoid certain compounds without sacrificing effectiveness.
While it’s important to be mindful of the chemical ingredients in our household cleaners, there are simple practices we can employ to minimize exposure to harmful cleaning agents. Always follow safety precautions on label. These instructions can warn users of health risks and help prevent or seek help in the case of over-exposure. Use sparingly in a well-ventilated space. Ventilation is generally a good idea to improve indoor air quality, and especially smart if you’re cleaning. Open a window, turn on the fan and don’t use more product than necessary to get the job done; start small and add as needed.
Clean an empty house. Minimize your family’s exposure to cleaning chemicals by using them when others aren’t in the house. With everyone out of your way, you might just spend less time cleaning. When you’re done, be sure to clean mops, towels or sponges used thoroughly and wipe down surfaces with water to remove any lingering cleaning agents. In America we’ll spend about 90 percent of our life indoors, an EPA study reports. With that level of influence in our lives, it’s no surprise that having a clean home contributes to our general health and well-being. It also means that we’ll spend a lot of time exposed to any pollutants in our home.
Minimize your home’s exposure by staying informed about the products you’re using. Follow usage instructions and be selective about which products you use. Contact the experts at Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning when you need assistance improving your home’s IAQ. Call us at 206-388-5667 to schedule an assessment today!