healthy homes

Energy Saving Tips

family in front of a houseEnergy Saver Tip:

Power Strip

“Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment. Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. U.S. households spend approximately $100 per year to power devices while they are in a low power mode, roughly 8 percent of household electricity costs. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.”

Winter Weather Kit

snow covered branchAre you prepared for winter storms?
Prepare a severe winter weather kit today!
You should include:
  • “A flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and portable radio to receive emergency information.
  • Extra food and water. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best.
  • Extra medicine and baby items.
  • First aid supplies.
  • Heating fuel. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a severe winter storm.
  • Emergency heating source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc. Learn to use properly to prevent a fire, and be sure to have proper ventilation.
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Test your units regularly to ensure they are working properly.”

Stay Healthy and Safe in Your Home Using CDC Guidelines

family in front of a houseWe are all doing our best to stay safe and healthy during COVID-19. We recommend using these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help keep you, your family, and home healthy and safe.

Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting! 

“Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.”

View the complete CDC article.

It’s important to read labels! 

“Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.”

Note from Healthy Homes Partnership: People and household members with asthma may react to strong fragrances in cleaning products. Use caution and consult your health care provider if you have concerns.

Read the full CDC article.

CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting Tip: Surfaces 

“Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning.
-If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.
-If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.”

Read the complete article.

Wondering what disinfectant to use?

“For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
-Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface.

-Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.

-Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
-Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

-Wear gloves and goggles when using cleaning and disinfectants.

Always label any solution in a childproof container. Store in a locked cabinet where it cannot be accessed by children.”

Read the full article.

Bleach 101

“Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.”
Check out the CDC’s dilution recipe below:

Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Always label any solution in a childproof container. Store in a locked cabinet where it cannot be accessed by children.

Find the complete CDC article.

CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting Tip: Laundry  

“Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use.”
-If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
-Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
-If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.

Find the complete article from CDC.

A healthy home supports the health and safety of the people who live there. UConn Extension has an educational series of workshops and information on how to make your home a healthy place to be. Your health is impacted by the health of your home. Learn about indoor air quality, asthma and allergies, lead poisoning prevention, carbon monoxide, residential drinking water, mold and moisture, household products, safe and green cleaning, pest control and home safety. For more information visit us at https://healthyhomes.uconn.edu/.

Content curated by Sara Tomis and Mary Ellen Welch

Healthy Homes News

healthy homes partnership logo

The Healthy Homes Partnership is a national effort to provide information on how to keep your home safe and healthy. A healthy home supports the health and safety of the people who live there. Research indicates that there is a relationship between your health and the health of your home. CT Healthy Homes Partnership team leader Mary Ellen Welch coordinates workshops on healthy homes principles to inform groups about how to improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens and contaminants in the home, home cleaning strategies and maintaining a dry, safe, well ventilated, pest free, and thermally controlled home. She also identifies social media messages to be posted on partnership social media for awareness days, weeks and months, seasonal messages, and those that relate to current events, such as water conservation strategies during drought or winter safety tips.

Find us on Social Media! 

Facebook: HealthyHomesPartnership; Twitter: @HealthyHomes4; Pinterest: healthyhomes4

Extension Healthy Homes Website: 

http://extensionhealthyhomes.org/ 

8 Principles of a Healthy Home in American Sign Language: 

https://www.facebook.com/HealthyHomesPartnership/videos/1532273623476658/ 

Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home: 

https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/SAFEANDHEALTHYHOME.PDF 

Education on Healthy Homes is provided to community groups and businesses as well.

If your group is interested in a presentation, please contact Mary Ellen Welch at mary.welch@uconn.edu.

Healthy Homes an International Conversation

team members and visitors
Photo: Mary Ellen Welch

Dr. Hyun-Jeong Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Housing and Interior Design, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, South Korea, and Sohee Moon, Graduate Student, visited the University of Connecticut on August 24, and will be visiting University of Georgia and NIFA in Washington, D.C. to learn about the Department of Extension housing programs. Team members of the UConn Healthy Homes Partnership are Marc Cournoyer, Mary-Margaret Gaudio (in photo), Sharon Gray and Mary Ellen Welch.