​20 naive mistakes that make your home unhealthy | homify

​20 naive mistakes that make your home unhealthy

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Sheringham Crown Floors Walls & flooringCarpets & rugs
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We all want to live in beautiful homes. In addition, we all want to live in clean homes, which is why we subject ourselves to routine sweeping, mopping, dusting and other fun activities to get rid of the dirt.

But while you are actively scrubbing on this side, you may be guilty to quite a few misdemeanours on that side that are not only wasting your hard cleaning efforts, but could be making your home an unhealthy place to live in. 

Allergens are no fun, which is why nobody wants them in their home. But fortunately we have found those mistakes that could be contributing to ill health, as well the solutions to control the dust, mould, pollen, and other contaminants inside your living spaces.  

Prepare to be surprised…

1. Ignoring your extractor fan when cooking

All that steam from your stovetop leads to excess moisture, so turn the extractor fan on to reduce not only the steam, but also the possibility of mould.

2. Vacuuming without the appropriate filter

Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to stop those dust particles from being blown back into your home.

3. Not changing your vacuum filter

Change that filter once it’s showing wear and tear, or every six months if you’re using a HEPA filter. Doing this will not only keep dust out of the air, but also extend your vacuum cleaner’s life.

4. Not changing your air-con filters

Never run your heating or air-conditioning system without filters. And remember to change them at least every three months.

5. Forgetting to ventilate the bathroom

As it’s a space that gets lots of humidity, your bathroom needs proper ventilation. Thus, run that exhaust fan and make sure it’s vented to the outdoors.

6. Ignoring your gutters

Leaky gutters can cause excessive moisture to enter your basement or crawl space. If you don’t have covered gutters, then ensure that you remove that litter on a regular basis.

7. Too many bedroom textiles

Photography for Kingshall Estates / Vastu Interiors - House in Northwood, London Adelina Iliev Photography Modern style bedroom
Adelina Iliev Photography

Photography for Kingshall Estates / Vastu Interiors—House in Northwood, London

Adelina Iliev Photography

Carpets, rugs, cushions, upholstered headboards… these are all prime dust catchers. Consider minimising the amounts of fabric in your bedroom for an easier-to-dust space.

8. Too many living room textiles

Just like in your bedroom, keep the upholstery in the living room to a minimum to reduce the amount of dust mites.

9. Inviting allergens into your garden

Avoid wind-pollinated plants, like grasses, as they definitely contribute to allergens.

10. Ignoring that smell

Picking up a musty smell in your home? Follow your nose until you find the source. The sooner you discover the mould, the easier it will be to remove.

11. Leaving your study a mess

Inspiration Korbo Modern study/office



Clutter not only looks unattractive, it can harbour an abundance of dust mites. Rather file those stacks of papers, old magazines, and office equipment inside a cabinet/drawer to keep the dust away.

12. Wearing shoes indoors

This is a definite way to increase allergens. Wet leaves transport mildew, and pollutants from grass get trapped on the bottom of shoes. 

Either take off those shoes outside, or treat your entrance hall to a washable tray/basket in which you can place the shoes as soon as you walk indoors.

13. Letting that trash pile up

Pull out waste bins Urban Myth KitchenStorage
Urban Myth

Pull out waste bins

Urban Myth

Not taking out the trash regularly could attract unwanted visitors, like mice. And you don’t want to know what their droppings can do to your allergies.

14. Displaying too many houseplants

Lungsod Collection bococo Living roomAccessories & decoration

Lungsod Collection


House plants encourage mould growth, as mould spores live in warm, wet dirt. Thus, limit the amount of potted plants you keep indoors.

15. Allowing your pet to sleep in your bed

Dog Sofa - Sandringham small in Natural Italian Leather Scott's of london KitchenTables & chairs Leather
Scott's of london

Dog Sofa—Sandringham small in Natural Italian Leather

Scott's of london

Pet dander traps allergens, meaning you are inviting those sinuses and sneezing fits into your bed each night. 

If getting Fluffy his own bed is a no-no, then be sure to bathe him once a week.

16. Setting the temperature too high

Warm climates are ideal for dust mites and mould. Rather keep that thermostat to about 20 °C to help control them.

17. Installing bathroom wallpaper

Although it adds some style to any room, a wet space is not ideal for wallpaper, as it can increase the risk of mildew. 

Better go with tiled surfaces or textured paint that’s mould resistant.

18. Not keeping a barrier between you and your bedding

Treat yourself (and your family) to some zippered dust-proof casings for your pillows and mattresses. The casings’ pore spaces are too small for dust mites and their waste products to get through.

19. Not drying your bathmat

Drummonds Case Study: European Retreat, Denmark Drummonds Bathrooms Scandinavian style bathroom
Drummonds Bathrooms

Drummonds Case Study: European Retreat, Denmark

Drummonds Bathrooms

To keep that bathmat fresh and the chances of mildew at bay, hang it up to dry after every use. And treat it to a decent wash every week. 

Need a bathroom designer? How about a painter or floorer? Our list of professionals can help you out…

20. Not wearing protective gear while gardening

Even if you are not allergic to pollen, it can still irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Thus, wear a mask and gloves when out gardening or working in the yard. 

Speaking of garden work, we have: 13 Sneaky Gardening Cheats You'll Be Glad You Tried.

Which did you find most surprising?

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