Enhance Your Health by Upgrading Your Home
Some home upgrades you do just for fun. Others, you do to enhance your quality of life. When you have health concerns, the projects you choose to do to your property can even help you feel better. Here are a few of the most impactful home upgrades you can do for your health.
Get rid of carpets
According to the American Lung Association, carpets can trap a whole slew of health hindrances. These include everything from toxic gases to cockroach allergens and mold spores. If you’re thinking that none of these sound like something you want to breathe then, you are right. The solution here is to remove all carpeting and replace it with an easy-to-clean floor, which most commonly means hardwood.
In addition to the cost of materials, subfloor repairs, and installation, which HomeAdvisor estimates ranges from $6 to $22 per square foot, you may also have to pay for carpet removal and disposal. And if you have large pieces of furniture, you’ll need to either remove these items from the home or pay to have them moved for you. When your budget is tight, you may have to stick with cheaper wood, such as bamboo or pine (bamboo costs $2 – $4 per square foot for materials), since engineered varieties and exotics are much more costly.
Use better HVAC filters
A much less expensive way to remove allergens from your home if you can’t afford hardwood is to routinely change out your HVAC filter. You’ll also want to buy a high-quality filter that’s capable of pulling even minute particles out of the air. Changing your filter regularly can keep dust from flying through your house, but it also takes the strain off your HVAC system. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning, And Plumbing explains that a filter with a rating of 11 to 16 captures more than 90 percent of particles. A rating of 12 is considered superior for residential use – anything higher is more appropriate for a hospital or pharmaceutical setting. For best results, change your filter every three months, more often if you have pets or a smoker at home.
Install radon detectors
Radon is an invisible gas that is known to cause cancer, and it is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Many parts of the country are considered high radon areas. If your home has a basement or cracks in the foundation, you may be at risk. Grainger recommends that homeowners concerned about radon use a testing kit. These are available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and online starting at around $14.
Add more windows
Windows are a desirable feature in all homes. Not only do they decrease your reliance on artificial light, but you can open them in the spring, summer, and fall to let stale air out and fresh air in. If your windows do not open, consider replacement windows, which can cost you $9,700 or more. You may also want to look into adding more windows. The cost for this depends on labor fees and whether your contractor has to reinforce your home’s structure for the addition. Similarly, you can install skylights for anywhere between $1,200 and $2,900.
Choose the Right Contractor
If you’re planning to make improvements on your home, do not choose the first contractor you find in the Yellow Pages. Instead, talk to your friends and neighbors. Many will have recommendations for service providers they’ve used in the past. You can also look online for reviews. Once you do find a contractor, ask about their licensing and how much insurance they carry. Keep in mind that many of the best service providers have a backlog, so you may need to wait until they complete their current projects before getting started on yours.
From removing allergens to letting in the light, there are many ways you can make your home a haven for your health. These home upgrades are just a small sampling of features and upgrades. For more ideas, talk to your healthcare provider who may have additional ideas on ways to improve your health at home.
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Curtis Fisher | tradesbright.org