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How to Purify the Air in Your Home

How to Purify the Air in Your Home

Every homeowner wants to ensure that the air in their house is clean. Over the past few decades, our society has become more and more aware of the health problems caused by polluted air. We all know that allergens are a problem for some people, while chemicals and mold are problems for everyone.

Yet achieving air purity is not a simple task. Cleaning the air in older homes seems like a never-ending chore — and even new homes can have air quality problems.

Here are eight tips for purifying the air in your home.

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1. Get your ducts cleaned.

If your home uses forced air cooling and/or heating, the ducts should be cleaned at least once every year. Mold, pollen, dust, and debris build up over time, and unfortunately there’s no DIY way to get it out. So bite the bullet and call the professionals.

2. Invest in an air purifier.

These machines are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and therefore doctors are cautious about recommending them), so it’s unclear to what degree their claims about reducing the levels of dirt and allergens in the air can be believed. However, they have definitely improved over the past 20 years and will have a positive impact on the air quality in your home (if used as instructed).

3. Choose home cleaning products with care.

Along with the pollutants that enter the home through the windows and doors, there are the pollutants that people carry into their homes and then release! Try to use cleaning products with natural ingredients and without harsh chemicals.

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4. Choose new flooring materials with care.

Another way that homeowners inadvertently introduce pollutants into their home is through the installation of new flooring (and other synthetic materials). Carpet, laminate, and tiles can all emit pollutants for a period of time after installation. Reduce such off-gassing by doing research before you buy flooring, by choosing a product that releases the smallest amount of harmful chemicals, and by ventilating well during and immediately after the installation.

5. Try wet dusting.

Keeping in mind that traditional dusting and sweeping propels dust and pollen into the air, consider “dusting” with a wet cloth and “sweeping” with a damp mop.

6. Clean old carpets well.

Old carpets can absorb and store dust, pollen, mold, and harmful chemicals. Ensure that they are cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) filter. If you choose to wet-clean old carpets, professional steam cleaning is the safest and most effective option.

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7. Clean curtains and drapes.

Curtains and drapes are no doubt what add to your home that final perfect touch of elegance, beauty and decoration and allow in the ideal amount of sunlight. They come to breathe life into a room as they complement the interior décor. However, Curtains and drapes mostly get dusty — very dusty, which means they need to be washed or cleaned on a regular basis. Although you can clean your drapes and curtains yourself at home, the best option remains to hire the services of a professional cleaner especially when it comes to those without a washing instruction label.

8. Monitor humidity levels.

In the bathroom and kitchen, ensure that the ventilation is adequate to eliminate excess humidity in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you use a humidifier to deal with dry indoor air, monitor the humidity with a hygrometer. Relative humidity levels of 30 percent to 50 percent are optimal. A level above 60 percent results in mold.

A variety of factors affect the quality of the air in your home. Therefore constant vigilance is required to maintain a healthy indoor environment. Every effort that you make is worthwhile, as cleaner indoor air results in fewer respiratory problems and a reduced need for medications.

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Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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