We all want our families to be able to thrive in a healthy home, free from contaminants. But making that reality takes a bit of know-how since most of the stuff that makes our homes unhealthy isn’t entirely obvious.

Here are some of the ways in which you can make your home smarter and healthier for you kids.

Rule #1: Only Use Low-VOC Paint

The US Environmental Protection Agency says that paints and stains account for more than 9 percent of volatile organic compound emissions. This means that they account for the second-largest share of VOCs, after automobiles. The problem with VOCs is that they have been linked to a bunch of health problems, including allergies and hormone deficiencies. They can also lead to asthma.

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Fortunately, there are sealing and painting products that don’t emit VOCs which are water-based, low odor and release fewer chemicals into your environment. Take a look at the back of the paint tin next time you buy to check the level of volatile organic compounds in the mixture.

Rule #2: Maintain Your Air Conditioning

Surprisingly, indoor air pollution can be up to five times that of outdoor pollution. This is because harmful particles often get trapped in our homes once they get in. A primary source of this is the fact that people don’t change their filters regularly enough, allowing dirty particles to get into their home. It’s a good idea, therefore, to get a residential A/C repair as well as an air purifier to eliminate toxic particles that can damage your health.

Rule #3: Use Fuss-Free Flooring

Carpets might feel soft underfoot, but they come at a price. One of the prices of carpeted floors is their ability to harbor bacteria, mites, and dirt. The problem with carpets is that over time they deteriorate, and all of the dirt that was once perched on the surface actually infiltrates the fibers themselves. The attrition of people walking on the carpet wears down the individual fibers so that they become matted and flaccid. As a result, vacuuming isn’t always effective in keeping them clean.

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Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: choose a fuss-free floor. An excellent, eco-friendly floor choice is bamboo. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet, making it ideal for sustainable living.

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Rule #4: Investigate Water Quality

The incoming president has repeatedly questioned the quality of the water piped to our homes. It’s a good idea, therefore, to check the quality of the water we drink by looking at local municipality water test results. Sometimes you’ll find that local water quality isn’t as healthful as you’ve been led to believe. Often, water is contaminated with things like heavy metals and even asbestos. The good news, however, is that there are many water filtration options. You can get home-wide filters that filter all water coming into your home, including the water you use for your shower and toilet. And there are table-top based systems that you have to fill up from the mains. Home-wide systems are more expensive than standalone and need filters replacing more often.

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