Monday, February 1, 2010

Healthy Home Improvements

Almost everyone’s thoughts turn towards wellness at the start of a new year—and even your home can be part of your plans for a healthier lifestyle. The connection between your health and the building you live in has been extensively studied since the 1980s.

Even though most homes don’t suffer from “sick building syndrome,” many homeowners feel better making improvements that promote the family’s health. Here are a few popular health-related home upgrades:

Whole-House Air Filter

Because we spend up to 90 percent of our time inside our home, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports dust, molds, pet dander, pests and second-hand smoke can trigger asthma in family members or visitors. In addition to regularly cleaning furniture and bedding, you may also consider cleaning the air through your forced-air heating or central air-conditioning system. Types of filters include disposable HEPA filters, electronic “ionizing” filters and UV filters that kill airborne bacteria.

Household Water Filter

Many people want extra-clean drinking water, while others simply don’t like the taste of tap water. In any case, filtration can remove chlorine and other unwanted substances from your water. Installed under the sink, a plumbed-in water filtration system connects directly to an existing water pipe. Such a system offers convenience, though you may still need to change the filter cartridge regularly.

Low-Emission Paint

Are you thinking about repainting a room? Many paints and household finishes still contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, heavy metals such as mercury, or other toxins. Using paints and other finishes with low or no VOCs can help people with allergies and sensitivities breathe more easily.

If you add these health-promoting features to your home, remember to call attention to them when you decide to sell. Your “healthy” home may stand out from the competition so you receive a higher price.

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