If you or your family are prone to respiratory problems, you know how important it is to create a healthy environment around you. But while many people with asthma or other breathing issues often pay careful attention to what's in the air when they travel, play, and work, they may not be aware of what's going on inside their own home.
To improve your health, what should you learn about and improve right where you live? Here are three key areas.
Modern houses are sealed up tightly to prevent waste of energy and to stabilize the temperature inside the home. But that also means air is not continuously recycling into and out of the home, clearing it, and preventing it from becoming stale. And any interior contaminants can build up inside the house rather than being flushed out.
If you suffer from many common breathing difficulties, including congestion, nasal or throat irritation, and increased asthma, have your ventilation system inspected and upgraded. Likely, your current system simply recycles air from moldy attics and dirty vents right back into the house.
With or without good ventilation, your home carries a number of chemicals that can cause health problems for some. Chemicals used in the manufacture and installation of things like vinyl flooring, carpets and pads, sealants, and paint often linger in the home long after renovation or construction.
Reduce toxic chemicals inside your house by opting for "healthy" brands and varieties. Your contractor can help locate and decide on materials intentionally designed without the worst offending chemicals as well as natural and organic options for cleaning and care.
Mold is a silent but dangerous threat to health both for those with and without existing respiratory issues. It generally grows unnoticed in areas of the home that are moist for long periods of time — such as in attics, around older windows, below sinks, and in crawlspaces.
The best defense against serious health problems from mold is to ensure that a new home or renovation is built with "healthy" practices that keep it dry and safe as it's being constructed. Once the house is built, keep on top of any potential water or moisture leaks and have vents and crawlspaces inspected annually.
If you're concerned about the potential respiratory problems lurking in your family's house, always choose healthy home builders for construction. By minimizing the toxins you live with, you can improve the health of both your family and all the visitors who will enjoy the home with you.