You’ve probably found yourself spending a lot more time than usual at home lately. Keeping your home healthy is more important than ever, especially with how much you’re going to be there. Maybe you’re more aware now of the once-unseen spots of clutter in your house, or maybe you don’t even know where to start. Here are some simple ways you can boost your home’s wellness during your time in isolation.
Get a Humidifier
Humidifiers can be a great addition to your home, year-round. Humidifiers have been shown to help prevent dryness when it comes to skin, nasal passages, and eyes by keeping the air comfortably moist. They can also help ward off nosebleeds, coughs, and other symptoms from things like allergies, common colds, and the flu. Already on the humidifier bandwagon? Great! Be sure to keep up with its regular cleaning to avoid the buildup of any mold or bacterias that may have worked their way in over time.
Keep Costs Down
If you’re spending a lot more time in your home, you’re going to be using your appliances, your power, and all your utilities more than usual. Watch out for sneaky costs that lurk within your worn-out appliances. Maintaining your home appliances not only improves their lasting ability but can also help you save energy in your home over time. Checking to make sure that things like your ducts, washers, and heater are working properly can save you from a bigger headache down the road.
Change Your Filters
When was the last time you changed your furnace filters? If you had to take more than a few seconds to think about it, then it’s probably time to get it done. It’s a crucial part of important HVAC maintenance all year long, but especially as we head into extreme weather. How often you should change your filter depends on a lot of different factors, but both checking the filter and changing it yourself are surprisingly easy, especially with today’s newer furnaces. First, ask yourself: has your furnace been running more than usual? Are you noticing any extra dust, or strange smells when your HVAC system is running? If so, take a peek at the actual filter itself and examine it for excess build-up, and if necessary, pop a new one in.
Clean Your Devices
You touch a lot of surfaces throughout the day, but one surface is constant: your phone. You take it just about everywhere with you, and this means that your phone becomes a quick middleman for germs. You wash your hands as soon as you get home, so why not get into the habit of giving your phone a quick wipe, too?
And Clean Everything Else
Set aside some time every now and then to clean the other often-touched surfaces of your home that you normally wouldn’t think twice about. Your keys, wallet (including the cards), remote controls, and steering wheel are all commonly grabbed things that can hold onto a lot of gunk. Don’t forget to hit the door handles while you’re at it.
Air it Out
Maintaining a healthier home space can be as easy as simply opening a window. There are numerous benefits to fresh air. To help ward off indoor pollution, it’s best to open your windows at least once a day. Not only can this help with the overall quality of the air inside your home, but letting in the sunshine and fresh air can help ease some of your worries and boost your mood.
Watch the Temperature
Now that you’re home all the time, it might be tempting to constantly adjust the thermostat when even the slightest hint of discomfort hits. However, there’s a reason your office maintains a consistently cooler temperature throughout the day. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also helps to increase productivity. Consider dressing in layers, keeping a blanket nearby, or factoring in breaks to walk around and get your body heat recirculating. Can’t resist a little little bit of temperature control? Set your thermostat to an auto-timer based on where you find the temperature ideal during different times of the day. This will help you avoid those big swings in temperature change that leave you looking at your power bill with raised eyebrows at the end of the month.
Clear the Air
What exactly is a HEPA filter? A “high-efficiency particulate air” is exactly what it sounds like — it filters out even the smallest of toxins from the air we breathe every day. HEPA filters have been known to trap pollutants like dust, dander, pollen, and even tobacco smoke. This can be a huge relief for those with asthma, allergies, or even just those who want to breathe a little easier.
Embrace Your Inner Green Thumb
There’s no better time to pick up a hobby — especially one with as many positive benefits as gardening. Similar to a filter, houseplants can filter out toxins and increase the oxygen of a room, leading to better air quality overall. They also act as natural mood boosters. The bust of life they add to a space can lead to increased productivity, making your remote work or studies feel a little brighter. Check with your local gardening centers to see what options they have for isolation-friendly delivery, so you can stay safe while helping to support your local businesses.
Leave Your Shoes at the Door
I hate to break it to you, but your shoes are disgusting. They walk on grass that your dog (and countless others) have used as a toilet. They touch the floors of public restrooms. Aside from all the microbial gunk they carry throughout the day, they also hold onto literal dirt. Even if they pass over a doormat, you’re still turning a blind eye to the spread of germs by not removing your shoes when you get home. Set up a designated shoe station by the door, and get into the habit of taking them off as soon as you walk inside.
It may sound a little counterintuitive, but don’t overdo it with the cleaning. Remember to take a deep breath every now and then. What good is all the hard work on your home doing if you’re not actually happy to be there? Set up a cozy space for de-stressing activities, such as reading or meditation. It’s important to find the balance between keeping your home both physically and mentally healthy when it comes to keeping a healthy environment during isolation.