Create a Healthy Home this Summer: How to Reduce Toxins Inside

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the ultimate healthy home this summer

Summer often means we are spending a lot more time out of and away from our healthy home.  And while this can actually be a GOOD thing, there are still habits, maintenance items and problems that need to be handled during the summer months.  

One of the biggest common factors I see with homes that go from a healthy home to an extremely unhealthy space, is that they have deferred maintenance.  In other words, maintenance items get missed or ignored, causing a big problem down the road. 

In the same breath, a healthy home that has been well cared for, well maintained, continues down that path without any major problems.  And the trick is, once something small is noticed in terms of an item that needs to be maintained, it’s take care of IMMEDIATELY as opposed to waiting.  

The truth is these maintenance items won’t fix themselves, and in fact they often get worse at an accelerated speed as they continue to deteriorate or age. 

This post and all of the additional resources I have mentioned will help you create a truly healthy home this summer as you pay attention to your habits and maintenance items.  All of these ideas will help you reduce toxins in your healthy home. 


Most climates have higher temperatures and higher levels of humidity during the summer.  And while most of us can enjoy indoors that are air conditioned, this doesn’t mean our homes get a free pass.

Ignoring outdoor maintenance will only pose a bigger problem in the end as most deterioration continues at accelerated rates once the problem starts.  It’s a lot like the health of our bodies.  When we notice a small problem, it’s best to treat it and be mindful of that problem before it grows and becomes a bigger problem.

Think of maintenance as preventative care for your home and your space.  Because if you miss these easy home maintenance tasks, you could end up with a slew of problems on your hands.  The biggest problem is moisture intrusion from the exterior.  Moisture coming into our homes where we don’t want it to come in is the NUMBER one cause for mold, mildew and deterioration of building materials.  

The goal of any house is to keep water away from the inside of the home in multiple ways.  Assessing the outside during summer months is a great way to get a handle on what needs repairs or adjustments to it. 

We also need to reduce humidity levels indoors.  We know that elevated humidity levels create an unhealthy climate indoors.  VOCs off gas at higher rates in climates that are high in relative humidity, causing poor indoor air quality.  

High humidity levels in an otherwise healthy home can cause issues with mold and mildew that can quickly get out of hand. Ideal humidity levels should range between 30% – 40%.  If you purchase an inexpensive hygrometer for your healthy home, you can see exactly what your levels are and begin to adjust them.

healthy home summer ideas


Every season, I like to remind families to do a quick visual inspection of the exterior of their home.  Summer is one of the BEST times to do this.  

As you walk around your home, here are the things to keep an eye on:

  • Are there any cracks, gaps or holes in my foundation walls?  If so, use a low toxin exterior epoxy filler to seal in the spots you notice.  You can also add a low toxin waterproof coating to the outside of foundation walls to prevent future damage and deterioration from moisture.
  • Are there cracks, gaps or holes in my siding or trim?  If so, repair the areas with a silicone, wood filler, or stucco repair kit depending on your siding material.  Again, sealing over any repairs will help ensure that you won’t be fixing it again in the near future.
  • Does the wood trim, siding or decking look worn?  Work trim often needs to be resealed or repainted.  Keeping up on sealing and painting exterior wood will prolong its life and prevent any moisture from damaging the wood itself or leak through.
  • Are the exterior vents blocked or dirty?  Screens on exterior vents need to be cleaned at least once a season.  Dust and lint (for dryer vents) can block venting as well as insects that build a home on the screens or in the vents.  Remove anything that could potentially block air flowing through.
  • Are gutters free from debris?  Check gutters to make sure that all water is flowing easily to the downspout.  Make sure that downspout extensions are also attached and direct water at least 6 feet from your foundation wall. 
  • Is the air conditioner unit free from debris?  Move away any vegetation that has grown around or near the air conditioner to ensure it has ample air flow.  Clean out fins with a vacuum or a hose (not a pressure washer).  Water should always be sprayed from the inside to the outside of the air conditioner fins. 
  • Does the soil around the foundation slope away from the home?  Make sure that the soil has positive grading so that all water flows out and away from the home.  A gradual slope at all sides is ideal for home grading. 
  • Are outside faucets dripping or pulling away from the home?  This may be one you need to call a professional on, but making sure your plumbing outside isn’t leaking will prevent moisture from entering your home and causing big problems.

This blog post will go into depth on some of these maintenance items and clue you in as to exactly what to look for and how to fix these issues. 


Normally, we say just open the windows and your home’s indoor air quality will improve on its own.  But in summer, we often see poor indoor air quality and high levels of humidity in the air.  This means opening your windows may not be benefiting your indoor air quality.   If you do live in an area that has high levels of outdoor pollution, this post will help you navigate improving your indoor air quality.

Ditch Toxic One Time Use Products for Picnics: One of the big things I’ve learned over the past year or so is that not all eco-friendly products are also healthy for your home and body.  So often something advertised as “green”, “eco-friendly” or even “sustainable” contains recycled plastics.  Plastics are one of the worst things I think we can bring into the kitchen and homes, and I try my best to find alternatives that work for my family.  

What I love about Repurpose is that their compostable items are plant based and don’t contain plastic toxins.  They’re made from renewable resources and are 100% non toxic. 

(This post shares in depth information about compostable one time use products)

Improve Indoor Ventilation: Getting the air flowing through your home is going to be a huge help to alleviate moisture that is in the air.  You can do this through using ceiling fans, and running your HVAC fan to get air moving around.  You can then open windows and doors if the air outside is not extremely humid.  Combining these two techniques together can really help reduce moisture inside your home.

Remove Condensation: Any condensation that forms on windows or walls should be removed daily.  You’ll probably notice that most condensation shows up overnight when your home is cooler and you also have shades or curtains drawn.  This is a recipe for condensation forming on most windows, but especially if your windows aren’t extremely energy efficient.  Make sure you remove condensation each day with a towel to prevent that moisture from evaporating into the air. 

Use a Dehumidifier: If you’ve done exterior maintenance and you’ve changed your habits to reduce dampness inside but it’s still not working, there’s one last solution.  The last thing I like to try is using a dehumidifier.  Some homes just have spaces that are more damp and humid than other homes and they require a humidifier that will help dry out the space and get humidity levels back to 30% – 35%.

Use a High Quality Air Purifier:  Air purifiers are a great way to reduce indoor air pollution.  They are especially great if you have a lot of outdoor pollution, as typically the micron size of this type of pollutant is larger and more easily filtered out.  Running an air purifier will continue to clean the air over and over, reducing particles and pollutants each time.  I have loved our MedifyAir Filter (read all about my research and opinions on it here).  You can also use my coupon code HHOTB15 for $15 off your purchase.  Their HEPA filters work to reduce large particles, smoke particles and microscopic toxins in the air. 

Clean Screens & Filters:  So often we forget about our window screens until they are filled with pollen and dust.  The summer is a great time to either vacuum or hose them off and get rid of the contaminants that adhere themselves to your screen.

The dirt and dust that travels through the outdoor air can contain allergens as well as pesticides and herbicides from other yards and gardens.  That means every time you open up your windows, those contaminants can filter into your home.

So often we forget about our window screens until they are filled with pollen and dust.  The summer is a great time to either vacuum or hose them off and get rid of the contaminants that adhere themselves to your screen.

The dirt and dust that travels through the outdoor air can contain allergens as well as pesticides and herbicides from other yards and gardens.  That means every time you open up your windows, those contaminants can filter into your home.



One thing we forget to do is to actually get out of our healthy home.  This is SUCH an important part of detoxing your body and unfortunately now more than ever we are inside during many seasons.  Remember that if you live in a area that allows you to get outside more during the warm months, take advantage of it.  Longer days and nicer weather are great reasons to get outside and out of your home, no matter how healthy your home is.

A great way to get outside of your healthy home more is to create an outdoor space that is super usable. You can create a space where you can either eat outside or relax outside, like an outdoor living room. With an inviting space outdoors, you’ll be more likely to spend time outside rather than inside. 

And if you need to get rid of mold, make sure you do it in a healthy, toxin free way.  This winter I did a blog post all about removing mold from your space and how to do it without bringing more toxins into your healthy home.  Essentially you don’t want to use bleach or other harsh chemicals, that can actually make the mold worse and also negatively impact your indoor air quality. 

You can also choose to use organic lawn care products that won’t introduce toxins to your lawn and your outdoor space.  While I love Sunday Lawn care for our own home, there are SO Many alternatives to conventional lawn services that you can purchase.  If you have kids or pets, this is an extremely important area to pay attention to.  Not to mention that any chemicals on the lawn can get tracked into the house through shoes, paws or clothing.  (This post covers organic lawn care in depth whether you want to DIY or go with a professional company)

Finally, keep up on exterior maintenance and use summer to plan ahead for indoor projects.  My Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist will help you navigate which projects should be considered and give you an idea of maintenance that you can routinely do on the interior and exterior of your home.  Afterall, home maintenance is one of the key ways to creating a healthier home.

18 practical ways to create a healthy home this summer

Whatever your climate is like during the summer, just know that there are great ways to reduce humidity levels and improve indoor air quality indoors with simple maintenance and easy habit changes.

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