7 Parts of the Home You’re Probably Not Spring-Cleaning — But Should Be

If you have a home and are health conscious, it’s no surprise if you’re curious how your abode may be affecting your body. And you’re smart to ask that question — your home really can influence your health. “High surfaces like the tops of refrigerators and cabinets, and low surfaces like carpets, can be dusty and affect the quality of the air we breathe, which then affects our respiratory health,” says Kadi Banjoko, infection preventionist at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

Meanwhile, other areas can harbor germs from our gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system anytime we use the bathroom, cough, sneeze, and wash our mouth in the sink, Banjoko adds. These germs have the potential to contribute to sickness, too.

The morale of the story: Good health begins at home. So start the season on a healthy note by making sure to include these often-neglected areas in your spring-cleaning routine.

1. Windowsills

“Windowsills are an easy place for mold to grow, and it’s not always apparent to homeowners,” says Tim Dunphy, product manager at Leaf Home Water Solutions, a water purification company in Jacksonville, Florida. Mold spores appear as small, discolored areas on your windowsills and, if left untreated, can damage your window and home air quality, he says. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to mold can cause people with asthma and mold allergies to experience symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes or skin. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has also found a link between mold exposure and upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in healthy people.

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