Do you take your health and home seriously? How about your home health?
What Is Home Health?
Home health takes a comprehensive look at each room in your home and the possible environmental hazards.
A healthy home means removing hazards from the air and water from all the rooms in your home. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), environmental hazards throughout our homes harm millions of children every year.
Due to these under the radar dangers, HUD developed the Healthy Homes Program to address multiple diseases and injuries that occur due to home hazards. The program expands upon HUD’s work to reduce lead within our communities to address the following safety concerns:
- Carbon Monoxide
HUD provides a portal with additional information, including details about grants, such as the Healthy Homes Demonstration Program and Healthy Homes Technical Studies. These programs aim to deliver education around home health, along with creating low-cost methods of hazard assessment and intervention.
How does a Healthy Home Impact your Health?
Why does home health matter?
- Do you (or someone in your family) seem allergic to your home?
- Do you (or someone in your family) have trouble sleeping?
- Are you (or another family member) constantly sneezing?
- Are your (or another family member) eyes and nose itchy?
Environmental hazards may be the cause of some of these symptoms. From chemicals in fabric softener to toxins in non-stick pans there are environmental dangers all over your home.
Through assessment, there are immediate and long-term actions you can take to improve your home health…and help your family sleep better!
That is why home health matters.
As the CDC reports many common irritants are preventable.
“Poor indoor air quality (pollution) can bother your eyes, nose, and throat. It can also lead to chronic heart and lung problems and cancer.”
Air pollution, both inside and outside, can be made worse with poor ventilation, high heat and high humidity.
The New England summers are known for being hazy, hot and humid. Now is the time to review your home health to make any adjustments to improve your air quality.
Simple Approach #1: Air Purifiers
The Environmental Protection Agency notes that indoor air pollution can be up to 5X higher than outdoor air pollution.
Air purifiers work to control odors and chemical vapors, among other home pollutants, within the home. It is recommended to use a HEPA (or high efficiency particulate arresting) filter to remove microscopic particles.
Simple Approach #2: Plant Purifier
For a more natural method to create clean air, then consider adding plants, such as spider plants that filter pollutants from home air.
At SolvIt, we have qualified home experts to help examine your home air quality. Home systems from central air to furnaces impact your home air quality.
Home health also impacts water quality.
The saga in Detroit, MI highlights the dangers of what can go wrong when people do not understand how environmental hazards make a personal impact and demonstrates the importance of having high quality drinking water.
The CDC notes:
“People should know where their drinking water (tap or bottled) comes from, how it has been treated, and whether it is safe to drink. The quality of drinking water from the tap can vary depending on whether its source is a regulated water system or an unregulated small community system or private well. Home tap water may also be filtered.”
It is good to know where your water comes from, along with what external dangers may contaminate the water, such as:
- natural chemicals and minerals (such as arsenic).
- viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
- routine use of pesticides.
- failing septic systems and/or sewer overflows.
If you are worried about your home water quality, then do a little investigation.
Call your local municipality for water-test results. If there are any concerns, then install a water filtration system to remove hazardous pollutants like asbestos or radium.
If you are not satisfied with the response, then feel free to call SolvIt. We offer 24/7 service to have a qualified technician analyze and assess water quality.
Simple Home Health Solutions
We know why we take our health seriously.
We know why we take our homes seriously.
And now we know why we should take home health seriously.
But how can we create a healthy home?
The first step should be to take a deep dive throughout each room in your home to understand all the nooks and crannies of a home that are possibly at risk. To help, here is a room by room checklist.
This may seem overwhelming, but keep in mind that making common sense decision will go a long way to mitigating risks of environmental hazards around the house.
Here are a few simple steps to keep pollutants out of your home.
- Add mats to both sides of the door to reduce up to 80% of dirt (along with allergens, bacteria and lawn chemicals).
- Wash your hands to keep germs from spreading.
- Install vents in crawl spaces because keeping humidity levels below 50% prevents condensation (and the spread of odors, mold, mildew) that may trigger allergies and asthma.
- Upgrade to energy efficient faucets and fixtures to reduce water and energy use (along with saving on monthly utility bills.
- Install CFL or LED lights that save electricity compared to standard incandescent bulbs.
For a comprehensive, 72 point action item list, then This Old House provides the additional steps and detailed descriptions. Here are a few highlights of things to check in each room in your house.
5 Kitchens Tips for a Healthy Home
- Filter your drinking water.
- Change the refrigerator filter before it expires.
- Stop using BPA-contaminated plastic containers.
- Clean food preparation surfaces every day.
- Remember to use range hood while cooking.
5 Living Room Tips for a Healthy Home
- Weather permitting, open a window for ventilation.
- Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Sanitize a handheld and mobile devices.
- Clean with vinegar and water or lemon, oil and water solution.
- Paint with no (or low) VOCs.
5 Bathroom Tips for a Healthy Home
- Run the ceiling fan following every shower.
- Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia and chlorine, which can irritate skin and lungs.
- Use hydrogen peroxide solution to sanitize faucets.
- Install a filtered showerhead.
- Fix or replace failing caulk and/or cracked tiles to prevent mold.
4 Bedroom Tips for a Healthy Home
- Install Whole-House Fan.
- Reduce dust with hardwood floors and/or washable area rugs.
- Remove flame retardant mattress and replace with natural flame resistant material (like wool).
- Avoid keeping office equipment in the bedroom.
6 Basement Tips for a Healthy Home
- Check for radon.
- Check for lead paint.
- Ensure carbon monoxide detectors are Working.
- Check for asbestos flakes around pipes and/or the boiler.
- Clean or replace furnace filter every 3 months.
- Install a dehumidifier.
One of the main keys to ensuring home health and air quality is ventilation. Mark LaLiberte, a building consultant with Building Knowledge, Inc. explains:
“homes should include a ventilation system to exhaust stale air and bring in fresh. The system should be based on the home’s size, structural tightness, climate, and number of occupants.”
If this seems like a lot and a little overwhelming, you’re right. It can be a daunting task to examine your entire house.
Fortunately, there are experts that can help.
At SolvIt, we are a certified home energy expert and our checkups focus on the following:
- Provide a Whole-House Energy Assessment
- Improve Energy Efficiency
- Reduce Energy Usage
- Lower Monthly Utility Costs
This means we provide a quality assurance plan to homeowners and ensure your home remains protected and monitored appropriately.
We are certified contractors with Eversource and UI and provide them with the necessary documentation to help process all available rebates that you are entitled to receive.
We want to help our neighbors maintain a healthy home and happy family. If there are any questions about your home health or interested in learning more about an energy checkup, simply call – we’re here 24/7!