Home improvement is an ongoing process that some homeowners embrace and other homeowners dread. But at the end of the day, making home upgrades, remodels, and repairs are simply part of owning a dwelling. While many common fixes and improvements are considered necessary expenses, they also provide homeowners with an opportunity to make their home more efficient, sustainable, and eco-friendly.
With the right approach, homeowners can properly assess their home for forward-thinking improvements that will provide years of returns. Additionally, many common upgrades can directly impact home health and indoor air quality. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look. To highlight some of the best places to start, here are a few ideas to help you choose sustainable home improvements that promote healthier living.>Home Improvements That Promote Healthier Living
While this will usually be a big-money ticket item, it’s worth the cost if you’re going to be occupying the house for more than a few years. While maintaining an HVAC system at optimal performance is critical to indoor air quality and health, there are also certain upgrades that can be more efficient.
For instance, an air heat pump system, which is similar to a geothermal system but doesn’t involve drilling into the ground, is extremely energy-efficient for heating and cooling. It also runs on electricity which means that you won’t have to use natural gas or other more expensive sources of energy.
If investing in this HVAC upgrade is appealing to you, then you may want to consider an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV. These offer a great home improvement option, as they work to remove odors and indoor pollutants, reduce moisture, and lower the relative humidity. Not only do they help prevent heat loss during the cold season, but ERVs also ventilate air more effectively, leaving the house with higher quality air.
Lead paint is still commonly found in homes and can be dangerous, especially for families with young children. Homes that were built in the 1960’s or earlier may have some degree of lead paint, even if it’s been painted over with lead-free paint. If you know that your home was built before the 1960’s, have the paint tested for lead.
If you find that there is lead in the paint, then it’s highly recommended to completely remove the paint and establish a fresh coat of a healthy, lead-free option. There are different guidelines and rules on how to best handle lead paint, so it’s advised to contact your local building ordinance or paint-supplying hardware store to determine the best option to handle lead. While some sources may claim that you only have to put on a fresh layer of paint, it’s strongly advised to address thoroughly for everyone’s health and safety.
While electricity is one of the most safe and efficient forms of energy, older homes may not have electrical systems that are up to current codes. They also may not be as efficient as they could be, and in turn may cost you more in energy bills each month. So for homes that may be over 20 or 30 years old, it’s smart to have the…