How to Create a Healthier Home
We’ve all spent more time in our homes in the last two years than we likely ever expected to spend indoors. As such, you may have started to add some items to your to-do list around the house based on some of the conditions or elements that may be impacting your comfort and well-being. Enlisting a builder or remodeler to help is step No. 1 to figure out what the issue may be and determine the best solutions. Here are a few common issues that you may want to bring to their attention.
1. When I cook, the smell lingers.
This is likely a ventilation issue, so you may want to consider asking about features such as kitchen range hoods, smart appliances, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with sensors or automation to help alleviate the issue.
2. Someone in my family has allergies and asthma.
Healthier indoor air quality can make a huge difference. Features that can assist with this include bathroom exhaust fans, a kitchen range hood, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, HVAC systems with sensors and automation, and materials that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) to minimize the number of pollutants in the air.
3. My home always feels humid.
A consistent indoor temperature can not only create a more comfortable living environment but is also usually indicative of a good building envelope. Humidity or temperature fluctuations may be solved by looking at features such as appropriately sized HVAC equipment, high R-value insulation in floors, walls and ceilings, and proper ventilation — including not only bathrooms and kitchens, but also ensuring the dryer is vented to the outside.
4. I feel outside air getting in when I’m standing near my windows.
Solving air leaks can help ensure consistent temperature indoors and minimize utility bills by keeping conditioned air indoors. Features to consider can be as straightforward as making sure you have appropriate weatherstripping around windows and doors, as well as an appropriately sized HVAC system, or may involve installing double- or triple-pane windows with lower solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and U-factors.
For more information on how to talk to builders about health or efficiency concerns in your home visit Home Performance Counts — a joint initiative between the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of REALTORS — at homeperformancecounts.info.