Your home should be where you feel the safest. From the air you breathe inside, to the water that runs through your faucets, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to your family’s health and well-being. Home upgrades aren’t always about improving aesthetics – sometimes it’s about making healthier choices for your loved ones. Find out which home upgrades can help improve your health.
Get A Whole House Water Filter
Clean, safe water is a necessity in every household. You need it to cook, clean, shower and do laundry. However, not all water is the same. Unfiltered tap water may contain contaminants, such as lead, chlorine, arsenic, nitrates and PFOS, that can be harmful to your health over time. Luckily, whole house water filters can help reduce these contaminants and other particles that may be found in your tap water. With a whole house water filter, you can receive cleaner, safer water from every faucet. Having cleaner water running throughout your entire house means you can benefit from:
- Healthier skin and hair: Undissolved minerals sometimes found in tap water can leave film residue on your skin and hair after showering. This can also lead to dandruff and skin issues, such as eczema or psoriasis. Water filters for the entire home can reduce these minerals and help prevent skin irritation.
- Ample supply of safer, cleaner and healthier water: A whole house water filter ensures that you’re receiving healthier, safer and cleaner water from every tap in your home by removing harmful contaminants.
- Better-tasting and smelling water: Some contaminants, such as chlorine and sulfur, can cause your water to taste off or produce a rotten egg odor. Water filtration provides better-tasting and smelling water for cooking, drinking, washing and cleaning.
Choose Non-Toxic And Healthier Flooring
Are you considering new flooring for your home? Flooring is an important feature, afterall, your kids play on it, you walk on it and it can change the aesthetic of your entire home. Unfortunately, many flooring options contain harmful chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution. Over time, flooring with toxic materials can begin to emit harmful toxins into the air. According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution was responsible for 4.3 million deaths in 2012.
Keep your family safe and your home free of air pollution by comparing your flooring options carefully. Flooring that contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful to you and your family include certain carpet, vinyl, laminate and synthetic flooring. Healthier, non-toxic flooring options for your home are:
- Hardwood floors: True hardwood is made purely from trees. It’s easy to remove dust and other allergens from the surface, making it a great option for those with allergies.
- Ceramic tile: This is a safe, non-toxic option that is also easy to maintain. Make sure any materials used during the installation process are toxic-free as well.
- Linoleum: This material is made from natural and biodegradable materials, such as pine resin, wood flour and cork dust. It can last up to 40 years if cared for properly.
Use Non-Toxic Paint
Whether you’re decorating a nursery, or adding an accent wall, painting is an easy home upgrade. Unfortunately, many of the paints you find in stores today may contain toxic chemicals, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
You can often smell the fumes from these compounds as you paint. While most of the VOCs will be released as the paint dries, some compounds can remain present for years, putting your family’s health at risk. Many of these compounds are known as carcinogens and have been linked to cancer, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, these components can also cause you to develop a headache while painting and can even cause asthma or allergies over time.
When selecting paint, avoid options with high concentrations of VOCs, such as:
Help improve the health and safety of your family by detoxing your walls with these five zero VOC interior paint options:
- Behr Premium Plus Enamel Low Luster: Home Depot’s house brand is available in over 4,000 colors.
- Benjamin Moore Natura/Aura: This company’s Nature waterborne paint doesn’t need a primer and comes in their full line of colors.
- Milk Paint: Completely biodegradable, this company considers its product “the greenest paint there is”.
- YOLO Colorhouse: Available in more than 80 colors, all paints are made without carcinogens, VOCs, formaldehyde, or phthalates.
- Sherwin-Williams Harmony: This company’s zero-VOC Harmony acrylic latex paint is easy to find in most retail stores and is made with antimicrobial ingredients to help minimize the growth of mold and mildew without the use of harmful chemicals.
Consider A HEPA Filter And Air Purifier
Mold spores, dust mites, pollen and pet dander can accumulate inside your home and cause allergies or asthma to flare up. According to WebMD, roughly 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites. While regular cleaning can help remove particles that have settled on the floor and furniture surfaces, using an air purifier can help filter particles circulating in the air before they settle on an object.
If you or your family members have allergies or asthma, an air purifier can help improve your health. When choosing an air purifier for your home, you’ll want to consider which pollutants you would like removed and the size of the room you’ll be using it in. Furthermore, you’ll have a variety of filters to choose from, including:
- High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA): This filter traps harmful particles, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke, by circulating the air in the room through a mesh wire.
- Activated carbon: These filters are ideal for removing foul odors and some particles from the air. However, they are not as effective in removing dust, dander, pollen and mold as HEPA filters.
- Ionizer: This filter uses a high-voltage wire or carbon brush to remove dust, bacteria, pollen, smoke and other allergens from the air.
- Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation: This filter uses ultraviolet light to inactivate airborne particles, such as mold, bacteria and viruses.
- Photoelectrochemical oxidation: This filter removes and destroys small air pollutants.
Invest In A Central Vacuum System
Another investment that can help improve your indoor air quality is a central vacuum system. A regular vacuum may reduce particles found on the ground and around furniture, but a majority of dust is still left behind. A central vacuum system removes 100% of pollen, dust and pet dander from your home and exhausts it outside. This will result in reduced allergy and asthma symptoms for you and your family. When you upgrade your home with a central vacuum system, you can benefit from:
- Cleaner air: Dust and other allergens are carried out of your home through the walls to an outside receptacle, such as your garage or basement.
- Convenience: There’s no need to carry your vacuum from room to room and no cords are required. Just insert the power brush into the wall inlets.
- Home value: Installing a central vacuum system can increase the value of your home if you decide to sell.
- Noise: Since the power unit is typically located outside, noise will be minimal compared to traditional vacuums.
Your home should be the safest place for you and your family. Making these home upgrades will help insure you and your loved ones are staying healthy.
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