The Best Ways to Clean the Air in Your Home, Part 2

(Continued in Part 1)

Now that you know the benefits of keeping the air clean in your home, it is time to consider how to clean it.

5 Ways to Keep the Air Cleaner Inside Your Home

Improve the quality of the air in your home easily with these quick tips:

*Change your air filters.
Filters remove certain pollutants from the surrounding air. This includes, dust, dust mites, allergens, pollen and smaller particles. Every time you open the door or window, you are letting in more than just air. Not cleaning the filters in your A/C or heating units causes them to circulate dirty air plus, it forces them to work harder as well. This in turn makes them burn more energy and operate less efficiently, resulting their losing even more of their ability to pull the dirty particles out of the air.

*Buy houseplants.
Houseplants absorb the waste products we breathe out, provide cleaner air as a result. Several houseplants can help to keep the indoor air free of pollution. Some varieties to consider include, Peace Lily, Gerbera Daisy, Red-Edged Dracaena and English Ivy. For optimum results, keep houseplants wiped down and well-watered and fed, and keep out of reach of all children and pets.

For some people, however, who are allergic to mold or spores, plants might not always be the best idea. Here are some suggestions for helpful house plants which can even beautify your home (with excellent pictures):
And information about which plants can help counteract certain chemicals in the home.
It also discusses health reasons for not to having a plant in the house.

*Keep your ceiling fans clean.
Ceiling fans are an environmentally friendly way to keep the air circulating in your home, but they also collect dust. A dusty fan can keep all sorts of pollutants blowing all around the room and the house. Dust them regularly to cut down on poor air quality. Also remember to turn the direction of the paddles depending on the season. Warm air rises. Have them face down in the winter and up in the warmer weather.

*Check for mold and mildew.
Keep moisture from creeping into the little nooks and crannies of your house, such as around bathroom fixtures, under cabinets and in bathtubs. Mold that becomes airborne can make your family sick. Let shower curtains dry flat and completely after washing. Clean out washing machines and dishwashers to stop mildew from forming. Keep your refrigerator, basement and closets clean and dry. Beware of wall to wall carpeting, as it can absorb a great deal of moisture and start to get moldy.

*Open your windows
You might not want to open them all the time, but letting in fresh air from outdoors can boost the air quality of your home. Also clean the inside of your windows so that dust doesn’t blow back into your home.

How good is the quality of the air in your house? Try these simple ways to keep the air quality high and see if it makes a difference to your family’s health.



The Best Ways to Clean the Air in Your Home, Part 1

When it comes to pollution, we often think about the air outside our house or apartment, picturing smog and exhaust fumes from cars and trucks. But the truth of the matter is that a great deal has been done to curb harmful emissions from factories and vehicles.

If you are subject to allergies, have you ever stopped to think about the quality of the air in your home?

If you have not had a good spring cleaning yet, now is the time to start thinking about not only improving the cleanliness of your carpets, curtains, counters, and other surfaces, but the air in your home as well.

The Need for Clean Air

Air is a mixture of elements including nitrogen and oxygen. The unique mix provides us with fresh air to breath into our lungs to help us feed all the cells in our bodies with nutrients through the oxygen in our blood stream.

Trees take in the carbon monoxide we breathe out and turn it into the oxygen that we need to breathe in. it is a symbiotic relationship that has kept life thriving on this planet for billions of years, until of course we started to de-forest our planet.

When it comes to clean air in your home, you really can never have too much of it. Most people don’t think about the air that they breathe in their homes, but they might be polluting it far more with their own habits than any factory or car exhaust. Polluted air can fill the lungs with particles that can predispose us to certain illnesses and other health problems if we are not careful, including asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

The air passes through our nasal passages, our sinuses, down the back of our throat, all the way down to our lungs. If you find yourself coughing or sneezing more than usual, it could be seasonal allergies, but more than likely, it will actually be the air quality in your home.

If you or any member of your family suffers from respiratory problems, you might want to consider the best ways to purify the air inside your home.

(Continued in Part 2)



Birth Control Pills for a New Generation?

The contraceptive pill burst onto the scene about fifty years ago. Since then, there have been new advances that have made it more effective. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the daily dose. This begs the question, is the pill still a good choice for contraception?


The birth control pill is one of the most effective methods of birth control with the pregnancy prevention rate being around 99 percent. The rate varies depending on the concentration of hormones in the pill but the effectiveness stays above 90 percent no matter which type of pill you take.


This is how the pill ideally works. When you take it, hormones are released into your system. Some pills have estrogen and progestin, while others have either. The level of hormone prevents ovulation. That’s the point at which an egg is released from the ovaries and travels down the fallopian tubes in hopes of meeting its sperm counterpart and creating a baby. Without an egg, there is nothing for the sperm to seek out.


There are various side effects with the pill. For instance, you can experience nausea, pain, vomiting, breast tenderness, headaches, bloating or decreased sex drive. It sounds a lot like what you already feel while you’re on your period. Certain side effects increase with the length of time on the pill and your age. Smokers are not encouraged to use the pill because there is an increase in the risk of heart disease and blood clots if you are over thirty-five.


Pros to Using the Pill:


  • The pill, when taken properly, does prevent pregnancy.
  • Certain pills have other benefits besides pregnancy prevention. With the brand Seasonale, for example, all of the pills contain the same dose of hormone. These pills are designed to prevent a period for eight months out of the year. Other pill brands help with acne, abnormal bleeding and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  • The pill can be taken at any time during the day but it is best to take it at the same time each day.


Cons of Birth Control Pills:


  • You have to remember to take it. There are instructions on the package for what to do when you miss a day, but another form of contraception is suggested until you take the pill for at least seven consecutive days.
  • The contraceptive pill doesn’t prevent sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV.
  • They can be expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover them.


The contraceptive pill is still the choice of many women today. If you get into a routine of taking it, you are less likely to forget it. For pregnancy prevention it is a highly effective method of birth control, but it does not prevent STD.


IUDs: Contraceptives without Worry


When the time is right, many women are eager to begin their family. Until then, if you are within the child-bearing age range, pregnancy can occur even if you aren’t ready. To prevent unwanted pregnancies, seek a form of birth control that works for you and your lifestyle. One such method is the IUD.


IUD stands for intrauterine device. Earlier devices included the Dalkon Shield which fell out of favor some twenty or more years ago when women began getting serious infections with them. Now, the IUD has made a comeback, with safer methods than ever before.


The IUD is over 99 percent effective at stopping pregnancy. It rivals the traditional birth control pill for pregnancy prevention. With an intrauterine device, pregnancy is prevented for anywhere from five to ten years as long as the device stays in place.


The general shape of an IUD is like a capital letter “T.” the device is inserted into the vagina by a doctor. The top of the device extends into the fallopian tube openings with the rest of it hanging inside the vagina. There are two strings that extend from the end of the device for easy removal when you are ready.


There are two types of IUDs on the market: copper and hormonal. The copper IUD is branded ParaGard. It can be inserted for up to ten years at a time. The device works by releasing copper into the vagina which in effect, kills the sperm. The device also inhibits implantation of the egg should the sperm reach it.


The Mirena is a hormonal IUD. It contains hormones much like the pill that makes the uterus unsuitable for implantation by an egg. It has the same shape as the copper IUD and inhibits the motility of the sperm to reach the egg.


Pros of IUD Methods of Birth Control:


  • Both IUDs, copper and hormonal, offer protection from pregnancy without worry. The device stays in place with low maintenance. Doctors recommend you check once a month for the presence of the strings to be sure it is still in place in the vagina.
  • The Mirena offers women lighter or, for some, the absence of periods. Also, cramping is virtually nonexistent with the hormonal version.


Cons of IUDs:


  • IUDs do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases. If you are not in a monogamous relationship, this device may not be for you.
  • There is a chance of bacterial infection after insertion.
  • The device can expel itself spontaneously. This is why doctors recommend you check to see if you can feel the strings regularly. Once the device is out, pregnancy can occur at any time.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding is a side effect.


IUDs offer birth control without worry. You don’t have to remember each day to take something or have to concern yourself with regard to insertion and removal. IUDs work best when the two partners are committed to each other, but are not ready to start a family just yet.





The Birth Control Patch Pros and Cons

Birth control is used by women of various childbearing ages. As soon as you get your first period, your body says that it is ready to make a baby. In the great unlikelihood that you are also ready at that point, a method of birth control that can help you is the birth control patch.


The birth control patch was introduced in the early 2000s as the Ortho Evra patch.  If you’ve ever seen the commercials, it is marketed to the younger generation. Young adults have a lot going on and it is easy to forget to take a birth control pill every day. As a solution, young women can use a birth control patch to keep from getting pregnant.


The patch is a small square that contains two hormones: estrogen and progestin. The hormones are released through the skin when the patch is applied. Each patch is good for one week. After that week is up you apply a new patch for the next week. The fourth week there is no patch because you will experience your period at that time.


Wearing the patch means no missed pills and no awkward forms of contraception like the sponge or the ring. You apply it in a certain place and don’t think about it again until it is time to change it. The birth control patch can be applied to the buttocks, the arm, the lower abdomen or the upper body, excluding the breast area.


The patch has the same side effects as the contraceptive pill. You may experience heavy bleeding, headaches, bloating, cramping and nausea. The patch isn’t for everyone. For instance, there has been some talk that the patch is not as effective in women who weigh over 200 pounds.


Pros of Using the Birth Control Patch:


  • The birth control patch will stay on through normal activities including bathing, swimming and sweating.
  • There is nothing to take. Just adhere the patch and let the hormones do the rest.


Cons of the Birth Control Patch:


  • The levels of estrogen in the patch put women at increased risk for side effects.
  • The patch can come off if you use oils or lotion on or near it. At that point you are unprotected and need a new patch right away.
  • The patch doesn’t protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.
  • The cost can be expensive for a month’s supply (three patches).


For the woman constantly on the go with work or a busy social calendar, the patch means less worry about pregnancy. You can put it on and leave it be to do the job.


Abstinence: Does it Work in Today’s Society? Part 2

Practicing abstinence doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is a virgin, although many parents would be happy with that scenario until their son or daughter turns fifty! Abstinence can come after a scary time when you thought you were pregnant or you contracted an STD. From that point on you or your child might decide to leave sex alone until they can handle the consequences, whatever they may be.


That is, after all, what effective birth control is really all about. It is about having choices and making smart ones. It is about avoiding bringing any child into the world that is not completely wanted. It is also about avoiding pregnancy until you are old enough to handle it physically and emotionally. Most teens are not able to do that.


If you are a young person or a parent, know the true meaning of this birth control option before jumping on any moral high horse, and also keep in mind that condoms do protect against many STDs.


Sex encompasses any form of penetration. That includes oral and anal sex. You might think that since you can’t get pregnant from these alternatives to vaginal intercourse that you are in the clear.


That is not true and doesn’t constitute abstinence. Contracting a sexually transmitted disease is a real possibility with both of these methods. Think about this too – certain STDs can prevent you from ever having a baby in the future as well, once you eventually did decide you wanted one.


For abstinence to work, it has to be understood by both people in the relationship. This avoids those sexually tense situations where it is harder to back off once things get started down the road of intimacy.


Abstinence is still practiced by many people. It is not necessarily staying away from sex until you are married, but until you are ready to handle the responsibility of pregnancy or other negative costs.


When you are truly ready, you will know. Until then, enjoy life and other parts of a relationship that so easily can become clouded by the activity of intercourse.