A healthy home significantly contributes to your well-being, providing a sanctuary where harmony fosters happiness all year round. Given that most of our time is spent within these walls, it becomes crucial to enhance the healthfulness of our living environment. This could involve adopting diligent cleaning habits, being mindful of daily routines, or eliminating potential toxins. In seeking expert advice to guide these efforts, we’ve turned to professionals from various fields, including remodeling contractors, who bring a wealth of knowledge on creating healthier, more functional spaces in our homes.
Why is a home inspection necessary and how should I prepare for one?
“A house doesn’t stay pristine as you use it. Weather and daily living activities can cause damage, small or not so small, over time. Having an inspector come in to thoroughly go over your home will alert you to where repairs are needed and how extensive they will be.There are several things you can do to make the inspection process go smoothly and quickly. The inspector will need access to every area of your house so a thorough cleaning and decluttering is in order. This includes the basement, attic, storage areas, and under sinks as well as in utility closets. It’s also a good idea to make minor repairs on problems you are aware of such as loose cabinets.”
How shade structures can help improve your home environment
“As temperatures soar higher than ever this summer, it is clear that our climate is changing. Human activity continues to create carbon dioxide (CO2). These increased CO2 levels trap heat, leading to record temperatures. Urban areas are especially affected, as buildings are situated close together, not to mention the multiple paved parking lots and roads that absorb and store more heat than natural surfaces. In addition, there is little to no vegetation or moisture to absorb the heat and cool the air in these urban areas. As the climate continues to heat up, there will be an increased need for shade.
Adding shade to outdoor spaces is a simple yet effective way to decrease the temperature in both rural and urban areas. The shade provided by a pergola or pavilion can greatly offset incoming sunlight and, therefore, the temperature in any outdoor living space. You may even be able to turn down your air conditioner (a contributor to climate change) or use it less in peak hours. Pergolas and pavilions provide partial protection from the environment with unobstructed airflow. Their cooling effect is a definite win! Although pavilions provide complete shade, pergolas vary in how much shade they provide depending on the spacing of the rafters and runners. Adding a canopy to a pergola will greatly enhance the shade it can provide.”
How do I create an environment in the bedroom that is beneficial for a better quality of rest?
“To ensure your bedroom is a relaxing environment that promotes healthy sleep, you should take the following measures:
Control for light, noise, and warmer temperatures- all of which can actually make it harder to get good sleep or deep sleep.
Keep your bedroom light levels as low as possible if you like to read in bed before sleep. Dimmer lights will help you fall asleep more easily. Another good rule-of-thumb is to avoid using screen devices – including televisions – in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be dark enough that you can not see your hand when you are in your bedroom.
You should strive to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible by blocking outside noises. The whir of a fan or a soothing white noise machine can effectively mask other sounds and help you fall asleep.
A range of 60 to 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 22.0 degrees Celsius) should be suitable for most sleepers. If you still find these settings too cold, try adding a layer or two to your bedding. If you’re too warm or the weather is particularly hot or humid, consider removing a layer or wearing lighter bedclothes in order to stay cool in bed.
Keep your sheets and pillowcases fresh.“
Dr. Smita Patel, Women’s Health Advisory Council, HealthyWomen
How do I improve indoor quality at home?
“Most people spend a great deal of time and effort protecting their homes, but little attention is typically paid to indoor air quality (IAQ). Poor IAQ inside a home can be caused and affected by various external factors causing the spread and growth of viruses, bacteria, fungus and mold, which in turn can lead to health and other problems. ActivePure Technology is a unique and advanced air and surface purification technology that has been proven to reduce pathogens, mold and fungus inside homes and offices by over 99%. Unlike most air quality products that focus on reducing pathogens and contaminants through passive filtration mechanisms, ActivePure is focused on active pathogen neutralization, not just reduction through passive removal. ActivePure, a 21st-century solution available for homes in both plug-and-play and induct units, can potentially change indoor air and community spread, much like the implementation of drinking water disinfection and treatment in 1908, dramatically decreasing disease across the country. ActivePure has impacted over 51 million customers in more than 45 countries who work, live and play in indoor spaces protected by the technology.”
How can I create my perfect living space using beautiful home ideas while ensuring it reflects my unique personality and nurtures my well-being?
“Creating your perfect living space is an exciting endeavor that allows you to design a home that reflects your personal style, enhances comfort, and exudes beauty. The most important aspect of creating your perfect living space is to personalize it according to your preferences and lifestyle. Always trust your instincts and create a space that brings you joy and makes you feel at home. Whether you prefer a classic, contemporary, or eclectic aesthetic, here are some beautiful home ideas to inspire your quest for the perfect living space:
-Embrace Natural Light: Maximize natural light by incorporating large windows, skylights, and glass doors. This not only brightens up your home but also creates a seamless connection with the outdoors, bringing in the beauty of nature.
-Color Palette: Choose a color palette that evokes the atmosphere you desire. Soft and neutral hues create a serene and calming environment, while bold and vibrant colors add energy and personality. Consider incorporating a mix of colors for different spaces to create visual interest and flow throughout your home.
-Personalized Decor: Infuse your living space with personalized décor that showcases your interests and experiences. Display cherished mementos, family photos, and artwork that holds special meaning to you. Incorporate elements of your hobbies and passions, such as books, musical instruments, or sports memorabilia.
-Indoor Greenery: Bring the beauty of nature indoors by incorporating plants and greenery. Indoor plants not only add a fresh and vibrant touch to your living space but also provide health benefits by improving air quality. Choose plants that thrive in indoor environments and fit your maintenance preferences.”
How do I improve my kitchen environment?
“It’s time to wake up and take deliberate steps to make the kitchen a more sustainable space in light of growing environmental consciousness. As we all know, there are many ways to improve the kitchen environment which help you to reduce energy costs, cut food waste, etc, but we will focus on the most crucial ones.
- Store food properly: There is no doubt that wasting food harms the environment, and the easiest way to make sure you’re using everything in your refrigerator is to store food properly, including keeping meat frozen until you need it or keeping fruits and vegetables in crisper drawers in the refrigerator and using them before they spoil.
- Ditch the plastic bags: Nowadays, a lot of us store our food in plastic bags for ease of use, but we all know that one-use plastics are terrible not only for the environment but also for human health, as they are made from non-renewable resources and the feel and smell of plastic affects taste. There are some alternatives you may use to reduce your reliance on plastic and be more environmentally friendly, including glass storage containers, silicone bags, beeswax wraps, and more.
- Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances: Making your kitchen more energy-efficient is another step you should take to be more environmentally friendly and buying energy-efficient kitchen equipment is in your best interest because it might consume a lot of your energy at home or at a restaurant.“
Damon Shrauner, CKitchen
Why is smoke inhalation from cooking bad for my health?
“It is necessary to prepare food. Cooking is not only good for your health, but it can also be enjoyable and is a popular pastime for many people.Cooking is another typical occasion for gatherings of family and friends during the holidays. Consider how much time you and your family spend cooking, talking, and spending time together in the kitchen. What if I told you that standing in the kitchen while cooking and breathing in the air is bad for your health? Would you trust me if I told you? That’s correct. Cooking smoke can have a negative impact on one’s health.
Cooking is a major cause of pollution in the home. Nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, carcinogens, and other substances are all present in the fumes produced from the burner. Cooking smoke might cause you to inhale all of these toxins without you realizing it. Is that to say you should stop cooking and live off takeaway for the rest of your life? Obviously not! Instead, learn about the dangers of cooking gases and cancer, as well as how to mitigate them. As a result, you’ll be able to continue to appreciate everything your kitchen has to offer, from delectable cuisine to memorable memories. That is why you need to ventilate your kitchen.”
How do I minimize my possessions and simplify my home?
“A clean and simple personal space can reflect and influence a clear state of mind.
Start by setting a goal: Sometimes, with a difficult project like clearing out your home, the best place to start is by making a goal for yourself.
Decide what to keep and what to toss: This can be a difficult part of the process for many people. It’s hard to toss things that were once important, or that you’ve spent money on. The only reasons you should keep items are if you 1) Need them or 2) Enjoy them.
Organize things you are keeping: Make sure there is a place for everything, and that you and all other members of the household know where these places are.
Once you accomplish your goal, reward yourself! Treat yourself with more self-care, like a massage. Minimizing your home is not easy, and you should be proud to take the necessary steps toward a better you.”
Emman Sioco, Alternative Mindset
What are junk removal services?
“Junk removal services are convenient solutions to removing junk in your yard, home, business, and pretty much any other place you can think of. While dumpster rentals allow you to temporarily use a dumpster to dispose of trash yourself, junk hauling services include hired labor that comes to your house and takes care of it for you. Junk removal experts typically come to your specified location to give you an estimate of the job beforehand. Many services charge by the volume and types of items that need to be hauled away. Junk removal services may also factor in time spent on the job as well as the distance from the truck to the items being hauled away. TurboHaul makes it easy and convenient to dispose of any unwanted belongings without any extra labor on your behalf.”
How do I build healthy habits?
“It’s not enough to give yourself goals. You have to build healthy habits so that you can achieve those goals. You have to create systems that allow you to build those habits and hit those goals. It is very difficult to start a new habit, and it can be even harder to keep it up. But with the right approach, you can make any habit stick. The first thing is to identify your goals and motivations for building healthy habits. Why do you want to build these habits? What are the benefits of doing so? Write them down and refer back to them when you need motivation. Find a way to track your progress and reward yourself when you reach milestones or complete tasks on your list. This will keep the momentum going and help you maintain the healthy habits that you have already built.”
Why is important to practice mindful mental health?
“Health is important to us. Whether it is immune health, physical health, or mental health, we believe it is important to care for all aspects of the body, mind, and soul and that includes intellectual health.Project School Wellness says: Intellectual wellness means striving toward continued intellectual growth.”
Dr. Margaret Barrow, It’s NOLA
What are the benefits of trees?
“Trees. Who knew? We founded Vermont Woods Studios way back in 2005 on a mission of forest conservation. Now we’re learning even more about the magic of trees: they’re the key to improved memory, health, wealth & happiness! Take a leaf out of these new scientific studies that make it official:
- Trees improve memory: A research team at the University of Michigan gave people a memory test, then assigned some of them to walk through downtown and others to walk through the woods. The participants were tested again upon their return, and the group that took the nature walk scored significantly better!
- Trees treat depression & improve happiness: The same researchers at UM assessed the moods of people with major depression, then assigned some of them to walk through downtown and others to walk through the woods. After the strolls, the people who’d been through the woods showed greater improvement in “positive affect” — an emotional state typically low in depressed patients.
- Trees improve mental health: Researchers gathered data on antidepressant prescriptions across London and paired that with data on the number of trees in the same area. The places with higher tree densities had significantly lower prescription rates.
- Trees save your money AND your life: according to Treehugger, about 850 lives are saved each year, the number of acute respiratory symptoms is lower by about 670,000 incidents each year, and the total health care savings attributed to pollution removal by trees is around $7 billion a year.”
How do I create a safer environment for children at home?
“Make sure that there are no wires and cables visible within the room, and if there are any, keep them away from the reach of children. Encase them and use cable management to keep the children completely safe.
Do not leave any sockets exposed at home; children love putting their hands and fingers in those sockets. So, use socket protectors or guards for 100% safety of your children.
Consider a baby gate to restrict children from entering a potentially dangerous space for them, such as the kitchen or the staircase. Even the outdoor or patio entry should be guarded when children are inside.
Make ample space within the room, which is completely safe and secure for children, and all you need to do is keep the above tips on kid-friendly materials and ideas for home décor. Now you can enjoy complete peace of mind about your home being completely safe for kids.”
How do I ensure food safety?
“Ensuring the safety of the food we consume is a complex task that requires a multifaceted approach. Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is essential. Not only does it help to prevent foodborne illnesses, but it also protects the integrity of the food being produced. To achieve this, it’s important to establish a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection program. This program should include regular cleaning and disinfection of all areas involved in food preparation and processing, including equipment, machinery, and utensils. By eliminating harmful microorganisms, we can safeguard against the risk of food poisoning and reduce the risk of pests.”
How many air purifiers do people need at home?
“The number of air purifiers needed for a home is unique to the number of rooms, size of each room and floorplan of a home. When you choose the best air purifier to meet your needs, there are two main factors you’ll be considering: room size and air quality concerns. Your room size will have perhaps the largest impact on your selection process, since each air purifier is designed to move a different amount of air throughout the room, with the more powerful units covering a larger area. The other factor you’ll want to consider is your air quality concern. For example, an air purifier used in a kitchen or bathroom may need to be better at targeting odors. Air purifiers work best in the room they’re placed in. Air purifiers can’t work through walls or doorways, nor can they typically travel upstairs. If you can only get one air purifier, place it in the room where you spend the most time, as this is the room that will see the most reliable results. We usually recommend the bedroom, since air quality and allergies can often drastically affect your quality of sleep. The efficacy of an air purifier is typically measured in air exchanges per hour (ACH), or how many times within an hour the air in a room is completely replaced.The Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier can clean all the air in a room every 30 minutes at the highest setting. If your square footage exceeds the listed square footage for an air purifier, it can still clean the room, but the rate at which it can do so decreases. For optimal performance, a good rule of thumb is to find an air purifier that can cover more than the square footage of your room or purchase more than one unit.”
Why should I invest in plant power?
“Most people know that there are a lot of benefits to having plants in your home. They, of course, will improve the beauty of any space, so you’ll be able to make your home more appealing and attractive. Many also like how plants can provide a stronger bond or connection with nature. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching the plants you brought home start to flourish. Plants also have the benefit of purifying the air too, which is always welcome. As well as these benefits though, many plants will offer an opportunity to improve the positive energy in your home, too. Having these plants in your home will make it a more tranquil place to be, and that’s something people need now more than ever. As such, you’ll want to pick from these top plants in order to increase that positive energy and make your home a safe and relaxing place to be.”
What are the health benefits of sustainable products?
“For me, the benefits of sustainable products come from what you’re not consuming. There is clear evidence that avoiding the harmful ingredients and byproducts found in many conventional products prevents illness and disease. We know that eating organic fruits and veggies means we’re not consuming carcinogenic pesticides. And eating smaller, wild-caught fish means ingesting less toxic mercury. Oh, and the more electric cars, the less asthma-inducing pollution in our atmosphere. What a lot of us don’t know is that many of the products we bring into our homes release toxic gas into household air. We spend 90% of our time indoors and many of the things in our homes and offices emit gases called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the EPA, the list of negative health impacts from household VOCs includes eye, nose and throat irritation, headache, loss of coordination, organ and central nervous system damage, and some are suspected or known to cause cancer. Common VOCs found in homes include paint, vinyl objects like shower curtains, electronic goods, flame retardants in soft furnishings, and conventional household cleaning products. It’s a long list! Most domestic filters aren’t up to the job of removing VOCs. HEPA filters are great at removing particles like smoke, but VOCs are gasses and require more expensive carbon filters to trap. The good news is that you can reduce toxic air levels at home by making a few changes in what you buy and how you live. You might not want to toss everything you own and start again but making informed choices when renovating or replacing large items has a huge impact on your inside air quality. Buy mattresses, rugs, and furniture that hasn’t been treated with flame retardant chemicals, choose zero-VOC paints, and avoid using varnish or vinyl flooring. If you must use some of these things, know that they might off gas for many months. One day of airing out isn’t enough. Electric induction stoves reduce VOCs significantly and use less overall energy that gas, so if you’re renovating your kitchen, your stove is a great thing to change. Smaller changes you can make? Natural cosmetics and hair products reduce VOCs and prevent absorbing toxins through your skin. Don’t use chemical air fresheners or heavily scented paraffin candles, skip the dry cleaner, and switch conventional household cleaners for natural ones. Back in 1984, NASA did a study that suggested houseplants could absorb airborne compounds. Sadly, newer studies cast doubt on that study. There’s no quick fix to reducing our chemical exposure. Making small changes to live more sustainably is our best option right now. That said, you should still get the houseplant!”
How do I start practicing a healthy lifestyle at home?
“If you want to start with healthy living, drastically changing your entire lifestyle often doesn’t lead to lasting results – but consistently making small improvements will. One strategy to build healthy habits you can stick to even when you’re busy and tired is by optimizing your living environment to achieve your goal. After all, it’s hard to curb your cravings when there’s a cookie jar right there on the kitchen counter, right? By making a few simple changes at home, it gets easier to eat healthier, move your body more or break bad habits like binge-watching TV. For example, research shows you can effortlessly consume less calories by sitting down at the table for meals instead of eating on the go, and by using smaller plates. You could also remove obstacles to exercising by laying out your workout clothes the night before or putting your running shoes by the door. Improve your sleep by programming your devices to go on night-time mode one hour before bedtime, or keep a bottle of water on your desk to stay hydrated. Over time, organizing your living space so it encourages healthy behaviors and makes it harder to do bad habits can really help you to practice a healthy lifestyle at home.”
What is biohacking and how to implement it at your home environment?
“Biohacking is the art & science of upgrading your environment for max quality of life. Both your internal and external environments. I start by focusing on the living environment since it’s where we spend most of our time. Plus, it’s simple. Simple tweaks today can put health optimization on auto-pilot.
After biohacking the home, people often notice lingering health issues evaporate. Those without trouble sometimes comment that their days seem to flow. Or their performance elevates without needing any substances.
Our ideal home should maximize modern conveniences while offsetting potential harms. Using the principles of biomimicry, we replicate a natural living environment. Some of these are quick and easy swaps.
Full-spectrum incandescent or halogen lighting mimics the sun. Purified and agitated water resembles a natural spring. Filtered air removes microbes and manmade chemicals. Soundscapes and audio technologies can soothe the nervous system and shift our minds into optimal states.
An optimized environment is the first step towards bioharmony. It provides the foundation for looking, feeling, and performing our best.”
How does a mindfulness routine improve health and well-being?
“Mindful habits improve health and well-being by equipping us to respond more effectively to the challenges of life. One key to a sustainable mindfulness routine is staying curious about a broader range of sensations instead of trying to force yourself to accept difficult situations.
Savor pleasant sensations more: Our survival instincts cause us to fixate on uncomfortable sensations and downplay pleasant ones. Every time you intentionally steer your attention to a comfortable or neutral perception, you’re equipping yourself to notice the richness lurking in ordinary moments.
Wrestle with yourself less: Thriving requires becoming more comfortable with discomfort. We can’t strengthen our muscles without challenging them. We can’t learn to focus without realizing how easily we’re distracted. We can’t regulate our challenging emotions without some willingness to feel them.Cultivating curiosity with physical and emotional discomfort helps you take more of your life off autopilot and experience greater vitality.
Erode unwanted behaviors: Our most problematic habits are driven by our efforts to avoid discomfort. We try to weed out our reactions without addressing the physical, emotional, and social needs at their roots. By investigating discomforts mindfully instead of rushing to get rid of them, you discover new options for responding and weaken the grip of choices you regret.“
What are factors that affect filtered water quality?
“Water is foundation for life and for our health and it’s very important to drink quality water. Talking about it we should admit 2 main factors that have influence on filtered water:
1.Quality of water on the entrance of the filtration process and 2.System that makes filtration by itself. Talking about the first paragraph I would say that every state has different water with its own issues. For example, New York City has a lot of sediment and also we have very old communications in the city (pipes) . It contains heavy metals like lead and copper, so we always count that when we recommend filters. New Jersey has no sediment but big issues with water hardness, so you should always use water softener there. Every professional always knows the environment where he works and could give the best advice. As for the second paragraph, there are different approaches, but I would say that for now definitely the best way of filtration is the RO system. For now only RO filtration allows to remove all kinds of contaminants (including PFOS-PFOA) from water and provide the best quality. Many people are concerned that RO removes all minerals, but we should admit that there are different modifications of those systems and it’s possible to add back minerals, change pH of water and do a lot of different tasks depending on customers’ needs.”
What are the benefits of using an air purifier at home?
“Air purifiers are a popular choice for improving indoor air quality. Their primary function is to remove contaminants, such as dust, pet dander, mold, and pollen, from the air in your home, which can be highly beneficial for your health and the overall cleanliness of your home. Indoor air pollution is a real health risk that can be caused by various factors, including tobacco smoke, dust, allergens, mold, and chemicals from household products. By removing or reducing these contaminants from the air, an air purifier can help to reduce risks of health problems associated with indoor air pollution, such as asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections. Additionally, people with pets, and highly dusty homes, who are allergic to pollen and similar contaminants will definitely feel and will be able to see the benefits of using an air purifier in such environments in just a few hours after the first use.”
Why is important to declutter regularly?
“Decluttering different rooms in your house might not seem like an organization tip, but believe me, it is. If you know where everything is, then you won’t have to faff about trying to find a misplaced item. I often go through my cupboards and wardrobe and throw out things I don’t use. Not only is this therapeutic, but it reminds me of the things I own and where I’ve put them. A very simple organization tip if you ask me!”
Carpet cleaning tips to keep your homes indoor air quality healthy
“Regular vacuuming is the single most important step to keeping the indoor air quality in your home at healthy levels while also drastically increasing the life span of your carpets. When evaluating indoor air quality in residential homes we find the homes with no carpets to have the worst air quality and the dirtiest air ducts, this is because your carpeting acts as a giant air filter for the entire home. Carpets trap dander, dust mites, debris, dog/cat hair for easy removal via vacuuming! So keep that giant whole house filter clean by vacuuming weekly. Another important step to take is avoid adding chemical detergents to your carpets. Chemical detergent slowly off gas over time and pollute your indoor environment. The most common ways these products get in residential carpets are low quality “professional” companies leaving copious amounts of residue behind after a carpet Cleaning and homeowners themselves “spot cleaning” all over the house with various store bought products that contain phosphates, toxic enzymes, and butyl.“
Important reasons to replace your home air filters
“Proper maintenance of your heating and cooling systems is a big part of having a healthy household, as it impacts your home’s comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency. While focusing on your heater and AC unit, one assignment you generally need to focus on is routinely changing the air filters in your home. It can have several adverse effects on your family if you don’t change the filters in your air conditioner and furnace regularly. Here, we’ll look at five good and important reasons to keep up with this chore.
#1: Clean air filters can significantly improve your home’s indoor air quality, leading to a happier family. Clean furnaces and air conditioner filters can effectively trap most airborne contaminants. That keeps them from getting circulated throughout your living space and into your HVAC system.
#2: More energy efficiency means less money spent on electricity to run your HVAC system. Clean air filters help make your home use as little energy as possible. Your HVAC system’s dirty filters can make it harder for your air conditioner and furnace to blow air.
#3: Putting off HVAC repairs saves a lot of money When your heating and cooling systems take on more work, it doesn’t just waste energy. When those apparatuses need to work fundamentally more diligently, it likewise comes down on their parts, which improves the probability of mechanical disappointment.
#4: Significant Cost Reduction from a Longer HVAC System Lifespan In some ways, your home’s HVAC system is analogous to a car. The unit can only withstand so much wear and tear before it begins to deteriorate and encounter additional issues.
#5: Increased Comfort Means a Happy Family During the scorching summer and chilly winter, your furnace, and air conditioner will undoubtedly be your primary sources of comfort.
Don’t forget to change your air filters. Changing your furnace filters has many more benefits than it does challenges. Although changing your HVAC air filters is quick, simple, and inexpensive, it can significantly impact your family. It’s easy to put off doing something, but not doing it can significantly impact your home’s comfort, efficiency, and overall functionality. Additionally, changing your air filters regularly can aid in maintaining your family’s health and comfort throughout the year. Choosing the right filter can be challenging, but once you find the right fit and quality rating, you are set for a lifetime. It’s best to work with your HVAC installer or an expert at a filter company to select the best filter for your home.“
Bill Konves, AC Filters 4 Less
Creating a healthy and relaxing home environment is a holistic commitment that permeates every aspect of our lives. This might involve optimizing our bedroom for better sleep, enhancing indoor air quality, or transitioning to a sustainable kitchen. It could also include decluttering our possessions, cultivating healthier habits, practicing mindful mental health, recognizing the benefits of trees, child-proofing our homes, ensuring food safety, judicious placement of air purifiers, or even leveraging the power of houseplants. Insights from various experts, including interior designers, underscore the idea that our homes are more than mere physical structures – they are reflections of our mental and emotional states. As we journey towards healthier living, it’s essential to remember that our choices can nourish us, transforming our homes into true sanctuaries of wellness and tranquility.