Is Your New Home Making You Sick?

Vicki Sommers March 19, 2019

Is Your New Home Making You Sick?

Do you wake up feeling congested or fatigued? Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you get frequent headaches or struggle to concentrate? While these can be common symptoms for a variety of illnesses, they could also be caused by your new home. Here’s what may be triggering these symptoms, and what you can do to remedy them.

HVAC systems

One of the most common triggers in your home can be your heating and cooling system. Traces of water can be left in air ducts, which could cause mold and bacteria to grow. If you’ve noticed that you’re having more frequent respiratory issues or headaches, you should consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned. While this may not help everyone, it can be a good place to start.

Cleaning products

Many commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can cause reactions in some people, especially if you use them incorrectly. If you don’t open windows or wear gloves when you’re using these products, they can give you headaches or cause breathing problems. This can also occur if you are using too much of the product. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Natural cleaning products are just as effective for most jobs. You should look for products that contain non-toxic ingredients, or consider making your own with common ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar.

Vacuum

While you may think that vacuuming helps to cut down on allergens, it could actually be making the problem worse. If you’re using a vacuum that doesn’t have a HEPA filter, you’re likely pushing all those allergens back into the air. If you’re having problems with allergies, invest in a quality vacuum cleaner and clean and maintain it regularly.

Bedroom

Bedrooms can be breeding grounds for dust mites, and dust mites can cause reactions in those who have asthma or suffer from allergies. Dust mites hide in your mattress, pillows, and upholstered furniture, and breed in places that are warm and humid. Though it’s impossible to eliminate them completely, you can keep them under control. Wash your sheets in hot water once a week. Also vacuum floors, curtains, and furniture regularly.

Water leaks

Another lurking problem in your home can be indoor water leaks. Leaks can come from just about anywhere, from a broken window to a cracked pipe. Check your home for water damage, as it will indicate where leaks are coming from. Water can cause mold and bacteria to grow, which can produce allergic reactions in some people. If you notice water damage or a leak, get it repaired as soon as possible. If you suspect you have a much larger mold problem, have your home tested.

Humidity

As discussed above, excessive moisture can be a big problem in a home. But excessive moisture doesn’t just come from water leaks. It can be generated when you shower or cook, or if you live in an area with high humidity. If you have elevated humidity levels in your home, it can cause mold growth. If you suspect moisture is a problem, test the humidity levels in your home. If they are above 45 percent, then consider purchasing a dehumidifier.

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