This winter has been uncomfortably cold for Hyderabad. Interestingly, prior to the cold was the season of allergy when almost everyone was or still is suffering from cold and cough and flu and what not. Changing seasons are hard on the body, especially when your immune system is not at its best. But, did you know that your house is making you sick?
The dust mites, mold, cockroaches and pollens could be the foremost reasons for your headaches, congestion, sinus and even mental health.The interesting part is that these culprits continue staying in your house making you sick long after the allergy season is over. The situation can worsen to trigger allergic asthma.
Usually, in these situations there is not much you can really do except trying to eliminate the dust mites, mold and pollen from your house as much as possible or prevent their entry. Beware that these miscreants can enter your house along with you, your clothes, footwear and even the windows.
6 Ways Your House is Making You Sick
Letting the Dust Accumulate
Let me start with describing my own home. We get a lot of dust owing to the fact that the area is undergoing lot of construction and the main road traffic. And, yours truly has lately been guilty of not dusting regularly which leads to a good amount of dust accumulation.
Always start dusting with a wet cloth to avoid moving the dust or spreading it into the air.
This increases the dust mites in the house and worse is that they can come from presence of dust anywhere. So, cleaning your window sills and balcony is just as important as dusting your bedside table or the dining table.
Practically, it is not possible to clean everything everyday so creating a weekly routine helps reduce the accumulation of dust and preventing the increase in dust mites.
High Humidity Levels
Our house is on the ground floor with five floors above. Usually, the ground floor houses are colder than the ones above. Turns out the humidity levels and danger of mold setting in are also high.
Whenever we sleep in our guest bedroom, we wake up with cold head, sinus or a bedhead. The reason is it does not get direct light or air and gets stuffy when it is closed completely. You can smell the humidity in that room.
Another reason for high humidity is lot of indoor plants. Keep them outside during the colder months. Get a humidifier, if necessary.
Higher humidity levels can trigger headaches, cold and encourage mold to set in, especially in the mattress. They also affect the sleep quality which is why it is important that your bedrooms are well-aired and well-ventilated.
Open all your doors and windows for proper air ventilation. Change your bed sheets and bed covers often to avoid the mold from setting in. Air your mattress in natural light or let it dry once in a while.
Ignoring Other Fixtures and Furnishings
Anything fabric including carpets, curtains, upholsteries can help trap the dust mites. The other usual places are fans, false ceilings, light fixtures, art pieces and stuffed toys. You can not clean them daily but a regular vacuum schedule should be good.
Clean the Vacuum Cleaner after every single use.
Stuffed toys are fine as long as you stay away from them and they are out of your way. Though if you have children, it is better to keep two or three favorites which are washable for regular use. Similarly, use light curtains which can be washed easily in your machine.
Carpets work great as decor but if you can do without them, even better. Another of the prime sources of dust is vacuum cleaner. Clean the dust bag after every single use to avoid spreading the dust and bacteria back into your house.
Not Washing Bed Linen Often
Our bed linen provides them the perfect place thanks to the sweat and dead skin it accumulates every night we sleep in.
Dust mites and mold spores like to thrive in our bed linen including the pillows, bed sheet and comforters or duvets. This is why you must wash your bed linen regularly in hot water. Use a mattress protector to control dust and mold that might settle on the mattress directly.
Lack of Fresh Air
Whenever I wake up early, my first job is to open all the curtains and doors to let the fresh air in. Nothing feels better than that!
Lack of fresh air causes the house smell musty and stuffy. Make sure to run the chimneys for a little longer after you have cooked to clear out the air completely. Avoid piling dishes or standing water in the sinks.
Let your washrooms dry properly after you have showered to avoid the tiles building up mold. Leave the bathroom door open for sometime to let the humidity escape.
Letting Outside Footwear In
May be keeping the shoe stand outside the house is a better idea!
There is a reason why we are suggested to leave the footwear shoes outside. They can bring in all kinds of pollen and dust and bacteria and other foreign and undesirable elements into the house.
Keep separate pair of slippers for using inside the house. But, make sure you do wear slippers. The dust on the floor can not only affect your health and sleep but it can cause damage to your skin as well. Cracked heels are just the start.
Avoiding dust and allergens in a tropical country like India is impossible but with a few rules of hygiene, you can reduce the chances. Washing your hands and legs, changing the footwear and cleaning the paws of your pet are a few starters. Taking care of your house is a much important as taking care of yourself.
Till then, Swathy!