36 Expert Tips for a Healthier Home

This report outlines 36 expert tips that can be implemented to make your home healthier. It follows two previous reports – “The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building” and “Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success” – that explain the science for how healthy buildings lead to improved work and more productive school environments. Now we turn our attention to the place we spend the most time – our homes.

Whole Home

Did you know the typical American spends 65% of our life inside our homes?

  • Kick Your Shoes Off at the Door
  • Bring in Fresh Air
  • Install detectors for smoke and “the silent killer”
  • (Re)connect with nature and natural light indoors
  • Get the lead out (for homes built before 1980)


A third of all the air you breathe in your life will be the air in one room…your bedroom.

  • Train your brain and make this the sleeproom
  • Black out the room (and “blue-out” your lights)
  • Treat the air (and yourself)
  • Keep your cool at night
  • Block out the noise

Living Room

Dust is a reservoir for allergens from pests like dust mites, harmful chemicals and air pollution that settles out onto the floor.

  • Vacuum. Regularly. With HEPA.
  • Don’t smoke indoors (better yet, don’t smoke at all)
  • Stamp out the candles and incense
  • Choose furniture and carpets without harmful chemicals
  • Properly vent fireplaces and wood stoves


Particle levels while cooking with an unvented stove can reach 10x higher than our health-based limits for outdoor air pollution.

  • Cook with the exhaust hood on (and vented outdoors)
  • Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach
  • Filter your drinking water where necessary
  • Control pests using IPM, not more pesticides
  • Choose glassware and cast iron or ceramic cookware


Hand-washing is the cornerstone of public health. But don’t let that be the end of your efforts in making your bathroom healthier.

  • Control moisture by exhausting air outdoors
  • Limit the use of air fresheners
  • Detoxify cleaners and personal care products
  • Skip the antimicrobials
  • Prevent slips, trips and falls with handrails and non-slip mats


Radon causes lung cancer and it can seep into your house through the basement.

  • Measure and control radon
  • Do not disturb signs of asbestos
  • Dehumidify and inspect for signs of water issues
  • Choose a hard floor
  • Solve the solvent storage issue


We spend the majority of our time inside our homes, but the stuff immediately outside our homes is important, too.

  • Ditch the pesticides and herbicides
  • Beware of air from attached garages
  • Secure the perimeter
  • Tighten up your envelope
  • Be resilient