The benefits of improving your home go far beyond just cosmetic changes for your home. Although home improvement projects can raise the value of your home and make it easier to market it when the time comes to sell, many projects have other benefits for your health as well.
The Energy Star website provides consumers with helpful tips and information about how to assess your home to determine which changes you might make to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The website also provides an energy adviser tool that will provide recommendations for home improvements that will save energy and make your home more energy efficient.
With 10 home improvement projects that benefit your health, your home won’t be the only winner after you finish the work.
What could be better for relaxing and helping relieve the stress of the day than a hot tub in the master bathroom? Sitting in a relaxing and rejuvenating bath after a difficult day might be an ideal way to keep your stress levels in check and add some enjoyment back into your life.
The health benefits of a hot tub include increasing circulation and blood flow, calming your nerves, relieving muscle tension and loosening tight joints. Plus, the endorphins produced by your body will give you a sense of well-being that might just carry over into the next day.
If your kitchen is so old and worn that you opt for take-out every night, a kitchen remodel may be a significant step toward better health. By changing the layout of your kitchen to make it more efficient, replacing countertops and flooring and installing new appliances, you can breathe new life into your kitchen and motivate yourself to begin preparing healthier meals for the family.
The flooring under your feet can have a huge impact on your family’s health. This can be especially true if you have family members with environmental sensitivities, asthma and allergies. Although wall-to-wall carpeting can be comfortable and attractive, it can also house untold levels of allergens that may make people unhealthy. Carpet can hold both dust mites and mold spores that release into the environment. By pulling up the old carpeting and replacing it with hard flooring like laminates, wood, tile and even concrete, you eliminate the places where pathogens can hide. Keeping hard floors clean is much easier than keeping carpets clean.
4.Sealing the Home
If family members suffer from asthma, sealing your home will be an important project to tackle to help keep everyone healthy and happy. One of the most significant issues for people with asthma is the droppings left behind from insects and rodents. It is important to seal cracks and holes with caulk and weather stripping to keep these critters out of your home. Places to check for leaks are along the floor, around windows and doors and at the vents that dispel air outdoors.
5.Indoor Air Quality
An older HVAC system may not heat and cool your home efficiently. What’s more, older systems do not include an air purifier that helps filter out allergens from entering your home. Once you have a new and more efficient system in place, use the furnace or air conditioner at all times and keep your home sealed to prevent allergens from entering. The air filtration system connected to the furnace or air conditioner will keep the air quality high and reduce allergens.
If your HVAC system is up-to-date, but you wish to improve the air quality of your home, consider installing a whole-house air filtration system by retrofit. This can remove most of the allergens present in the air to keep your home healthier.
The rooms where moisture often accumulates – the kitchen and bathrooms – need effective exhaust fans to move the moist air out of your home. Install an efficient range hood and fan above the stove to eliminate potentially harmful air from hanging around the kitchen. The fan will remove carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from your kitchen air that often accumulates with cooking. In addition, the range fan will also remove the water vapors that float into the air as you prepare food.
In the bathroom, the moist air that develops with bathing can contribute to mold and mildew. Because these mold spores can be detrimental to health, it’s important to exhaust as much moist air from your bathrooms as possible to control mold development. You might even choose an exhaust fan with a timer or sensor to help it run when you most need it to run.
Homes built before 1978 may have lead paint on some interior surfaces. Because many types of paint manufactured before 1978 contained lead, you may have lead particles in your home lurking where you least expect it. The lead can show up in household dust, paint chips and even in the soil outside your home that family members track inside.
If you suspect or confirm that your home has lead, you may wish to eliminate the lead from your home. Unfortunately, this is not a do-it-yourself project because of the associated dangers with the removal process. Hire an expert to remove the lead from your home so you will know that your interior environment is healthy for your family.
Stepping up your activity level is important for overall health. If it’s difficult to work exercise into your daily routine, why not convert a space in your home into an exercise room? Choose a spare bedroom or an area of the basement and install comfortable flooring, mirrors on the walls and a sound system for motivational music. Add free weights, exercise equipment and even a television to entertain you while you exercise.
9.Drinking Water Improvements
A whole-house water filtration system may help you improve the quality of your drinking water. Because many contaminants can make their way into the drinking water supply, you may wish to filter every drop of drinking water that comes into your home. Some filtration systems mount on faucets and others mount on the cold water supply line – either under sinks or at the point of entry into your home.
Moisture problems in a basement or attic can contribute to an overall unhealthy indoor environment. The mold that accompanies moisture can become toxic in a home, so it’s important to control moisture. Use a dehumidifier in moist areas to eliminate moisture from the air. If you have water drainage problems around the foundation of your home, replace gutters and drain spouts so they work effectively to channel water away from your home’s foundation.
Once you realize the benefits of some home improvement projects, you may wonder why you waited so long to make these changes.