It’s been said that “home is where the heart is.” Sure, your metaphorical heart resides there…but so does your physical heart, as well as your lungs, brain and a variety of other organs.

And unfortunately, your home can be a source of toxins and allergens that are affecting your body on a daily basis.

Not my house. I’ve switched over to eco-friendly cleaners and own a air purifier. I’ve removed dangerous BPA-laden plastic containers. And I don’t burn those nasty paraffin candles anymore.

That’s great. But here are a few other areas of concern you may have overlooked:

Your fridge. Sure, you know when its time to toss out that weird leftover you can’t quite identify. But did you know even a minor spill in your fridge can produce mold which can then “land” on other objects?

Even organic produce (which you just purchased at our store, we hope) should be washed before placing in your fruit and veggie drawer. Why? To remove errant bacteria, soil and microbes that could be picked up during its travels.

Helpful Hint: Deep clean your fridge frequently, not occasionally. It’s where your food “lives” so make sure it’s as sterile there as possible.

Your heating and cooling system.  Nothing in your home can be more of a danger to your respiratory system than your heating and cooling system.

When air conditioning cools your home, it often leaves a small amount of water in the ducts, which creates the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

So if you’re suffering from asthma and allergies (or chronic coughs and headaches), take a good, hard look at your heating/cooling units, especially if it’s an older system.

Helpful Hint: Get your air ducts cleaned professionally at least every couple of years. Also make sure you service your heating system to make sure its operating at its most energy efficient capacity. When its nice enough outside, turn off your system entirely and open those windows!

If you use room air conditioners, this video shows you how to deep clean it.

Your favorite chair. Older furniture (couches, beds, recliners, etc.) hold more than your tired body at the end of the day. They can also be the happy host for dust mites which can cause a fair share of damage to our systems (allergies, hay fever and chronic coughs to name a few).

Helpful hint. If you can’t toss that old recliner out, consider a hypoallergenic cover that you wash frequently. Also get in the habit of airing out your rooms, even putting furniture and covers in strong sunlight for several hours.

When it comes to bedding, wash them at least once a week in hot water and dry thoroughly. Consider a hypoallergenic bed cover for an older mattress.

Remember, the health dangers in your home are rarely visible to naked eye. Routine deep cleaning and reviewing every aspect of your home ensure the most healthful habitat possible.

Home is where the (healthy) heart is, afterall.