Around the House

Five Easy Home Habits to Practice in 2020

Jan 3rd, 2020

by Alec Lower

Achieve a healthier home this year by making one of these your New Year's resolution.

Five Easy Home Habits to Practice in 2020

Achieve a healthier home this year by making one of these your New Year's resolution.

by Alec Lower

A new year means it’s time for a New Year’s resolution, but who has the time to get to the gym every single day? Not you, but that’s okay. There is no shame in being busy. We know you are, so we compiled this list of actually useful habits you can get into this year that take no time at all. We may not have the answers for how to work out every day, because we’re a home wellness company, but we can help you make your home a little bit healthier and a little bit homier in the coming year.

Invest in a robot vacuum

Getting a robot to do chores for you is a dream of every kid and hardworking parent alike. You can actually do this though, at least with some things. Everyone has heard of the brand name Roomba (you have probably seen a video of a cat riding on one). These are robotic vacuums that drive around your house on their own and clean your floor, and there are tons of models and several brands to choose from in varying price ranges.

The whole point of a robot vacuum is to automate the vacuuming chore so you don’t have to do it. They can be expensive, but they’re worth it for the hassle they remove. Pay attention to reviews though. If your vacuum doesn’t last long, you’re not getting your money’s worth. If your vacuum isn’t dependable, you’ll end up replacing the chore with a different chore instead of freeing up your time, which defeats the purpose.

The best part about these things is that they are largely maintenance free. They’re battery-operated and will return to their charging ports when the battery is running low, so all you have to do is turn it on, let it clean, and occasionally empty it.

Take off shoes at the door

If you read our blog about where indoor air pollutants come from, you’d notice a few common threads regarding how air pollutants get inside your home. One of these threads was on your clothing. Gross stuff like pollen and bacteria can often get into your home by catching a free ride on your clothing while you’re outside the home. The worst offender here is actually shoes, which should be kind of obvious given that they are things that walk through mud and dirt and bathroom floors (ew).

Making a habit of taking your shoes off outside and keeping them by the door can make a surprisingly big impact on the number of pathogens and allergens that are in your home. Shoes can carry a number of different bacteria into your home, including the always famous E. Coli, which can cause a number of different health problems.

A study from the University of Arizona in August of 2019 noted this in addition to pointing out that bacteria can travel long distances on the bottom of shoes, making it easy for you to unwillingly drag them into your home. It also notes that bacteria on the bottom of your shoes aren’t a huge health risk, as long as you’re not, like, licking the floor or something. But it is something to keep in when you’re dusting or cleaning the floors.

Start making your bed every morning

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Seal William H. McCraven once delivered one of the more memorable commencement speeches ever about the value of making your bed every morning. (you can watch the whole speech here). The point was that completing this first task of the day (albeit so easy) can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment that can make diving into the bigger tasks of the day easier. It also gives a nice warm cozy bed to crawl into after a long day, which is a lot nicer at 11 PM than it may sound at 7 AM.

Change your air filter

“Of course an air filter subscription service would suggest you change your air filter regularly.”

Well, yeah. But, objectively, this is one of the better simple tasks you can do to improve the health of your home. You clean the dust off the surfaces in your house regularly, so why would you not clean the dust out of your air also?

In addition to clearing general irritants like dust and dander from the air, an air filter can remove pathogens from your air that would otherwise be a health risk. A study conducted for the National Air Filtrations Association by the Illinois Institute of Technology displayed the value of using a high quality air filter and the role it plays in preventing infectious diseases. The experiment noted a decrease in the likelihood of contracting three infectious diseases (rhinovirus, tuberculosis, and influenza) with the use of a MERV 11 air filter.

In addition to using a good filter, regularly changing it can save you money on your power bill by minimizing the workload placed on your HVAC system. So remember to do that in 2020, and if you don’t want to remember, we can help with that.

Replace your refrigerator water filter

Water quality is right up there with air quality when it comes to having a healthy home. Filtered water not only tastes better, but it’s also healthier. Some fridge filters will remove things like chlorine, benzene, lead, chlorbenzozenedene, and zorpoflorpozypodene. Okay, we made the last two up, but you likely don’t want to put any of those real chemicals in your body, and your filter will also help remove things that aren’t necessarily health risks but will affect the taste of your water. There are varying levels of filtration available, so do the research and figure out what matters to you most.

This, like air filters, takes just a moment to do and will be a big contributor to the health of your home this year. Also, like air filters, people forget to do it all the time. Not changing the filter, even if you’re using a quality one, can result in slower water flow and incomplete filtering of the water. So you should try not to forget.

You should make sure to change your refrigerator filter every 6 months (or every 200–400 gallons depending on the filter manufacturer). Some refrigerators feature a warning light to let you know it’s time to change your filter. If you’re looking for a subscription service to deliver your fridge filter right when it’s time to change it, stay tuned.

Alec Lower
Alec Lower
Social Media and Content Specialist
After graduating from NC State, I joined Second Nature in the summer of 2018. I have always loved writing and enjoy blogging on subjects that are important to families and homeowners. Outside of work, I love to fish and am a huge college sports fan.