Moving into a new house often means a fresh start for you and your family. It’s a chance to turn a blank canvas into a familial masterpiece. Making a new house a home takes work. It takes time. And it’s going to be harder if the house isn’t actually the clean slate you thought it was. The truth is, houses need some TLC and an extra dose of cleaning before you even move in. Here’s how to make sure your new home isn’t teeming with pollutants and allergens from the get-go.
Dry it out
Mildew and mold thrive in damp, humid, unventilated areas – often undetectable to the naked eye. Improving the air quality in your new home must start with drying it out. Some tips are to look for leaks and wet areas and to trust your nose. Set up dehumidifiers (yes, plural) throughout the home. Breathing in mold is a recipe for disaster, so you want to get to work on removing this threat first and foremost.
Replace your air filters
Oftentimes, a good-quality air filter (not fiberglass) is the only line of defense between airborne pollutants and allergens and your family’s precious respiratory systems. You have to assume that any air filter in your new home’s HVAC system is older than it should be. Replace it immediately and stock up on extras so you can replace them every three months without hassle. And if you or someone in your family is a major allergy sufferer, special air filtration or purifiers may be a smart idea.
Don’t skimp on the vacuuming
When it comes to buying a quality vacuum for your new home, you should probably convince yourself not to go the cheapest route. Vacuums with true HEPA filters are best for trapping and removing pollutants and allergens including pet dander, dust mites, hair, and more. Sweeping is just going to scatter everything in the air. You’ll need to vacuum vigorously before moving in. A commercial vacuum can be perfect for the job because it has more suction power compared to residential vacuums, which means you’ll be able to pick up greater amounts of dust and dirt.
Have someone check your exhaust fans
Did you know that if your exhaust fans draw too much air, it can cause a dangerous negative pressure situation to occur inside your home? As Cigna notes, “Negative pressure can reverse the flow of combustion gases from furnaces, gas stoves, and water heaters, and draw water vapor and dangerous carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide into your home.” Have a professional check your fan draws before you move in.
Don’t bring pollutants inside in the first place
You can clean your new home until you’re blue in the face, but if the stuff you are moving into your new home is riddled with allergens, it’s all for naught. One suggestion is to wash all of your bedding, tablecloths, and cushion covers. This simple act can work wonders.
Get some houseplants
Before you even move the first piece of furniture, it would be wise to bring in some beautiful and beneficial houseplants inside your new home. Plants are natural air filters and can help to purify the air you breathe inside the home. Some houseplants like English ivy and bamboo palm are better at it than others.
One final tip: clean, and clean well. As Moving.com advises, it’ll never be easier to deep clean your home than when there is nothing in it. No matter how nice the previous owners are, you can’t trust that your new home is truly clean and free of pollutants until you do the job yourself.
- Teresa Greenhill