Homeowners often focus on property value when upgrading their houses, but there are plenty of other reasons to renovate as well. Health and wellness are frequently overlooked considerations, but they may have the most significant impact on your quality of life. If you’re looking to boost your physical or mental health, improving your living space is one of the best things you can do. Here are eight healthy home upgrades to consider:
1. HEPA Filters
Air quality can have a dramatic impact on your well-being, especially if you suffer from asthma or allergies. Without a high-quality air filter, allergens and pollutants will circulate around your home endlessly. A HEPA filter is one of the best lines of defense.
HEPA filters remove almost all pollutants from the air, including viruses, bacteria, smoke, pollen, and dust mites. This can help to alleviate asthma or respiratory symptoms, and it can clear up brain fog and boost your mental clarity. HEPA filters may even reduce your risk of catching a cold, flu, and other illnesses.
To experience the benefits of enhanced air quality, you could invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. You might also be able to install a HEPA filter within your existing HVAC system. Another great option is to install a HEPA filter in your vacuum to prevent dust, pollen, and other particles from recirculating in the air.
2. Natural Lighting
Exposure to natural light has countless health benefits. Natural light can increase your vitamin D levels, which strengthens your bones, improves your immune health, and boosts your mood. It also helps your body regulate its sleep cycles, which benefits practically every aspect of your physical and mental health.
You may be able to increase the natural light in your home with a few simple adjustments. If your windows are blocked by furniture or covered by heavy drapes, consider removing the obstacles so that the sunlight can shine into the house. If you’re able to undergo a more extensive renovation project, you could hire contractors to install new windows or expand the existing ones.
3. Whole House Water Filter System
Water quality varies widely from location to location, but filters are always a great way to ensure your water is safe and clean. You could install a filter on your kitchen faucet to get clean drinking water, but a whole-house filter is the best way to maximize your health. With a whole-house filter, you can trust that the water used to clean dishes, take showers, do laundry, and complete any other tasks is as safe as possible. Additionally, a whole-house filter can reduce rust build-up and corrosion in your pipes, which will lengthen the lifespan of your plumbing system.
4. Non Toxic Paint
Homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint, which carries a number of health risks, particularly for children. Kids who grow up in homes with lead paint are at a higher risk of neurological problems, developmental delays, stunted bone and muscle growth, and many other health issues. Lead exposure can be dangerous for adults as well, especially if the paint is peeling or chipping.
If your home was built before 1978, testing for lead paint should be your priority. You can paint over the old paint if it’s in good condition, or you can cover the surface with drywall. You should avoid sanding or disrupting the lead paint in any way during this process as the dust from chipping or deteriorating paint is what poses the biggest threat.
It’s also important to choose your new paint carefully. Oil and latex paints aren’t nearly as dangerous as lead paint, but they can cause eye irritation, respiratory issues, and cognitive problems. To avoid this, look for green paints that don’t contain VOCs or other irritants.
5. Kitchen Appliances
The food you eat is a major determinant of your overall health, so kitchen upgrades can be an excellent way to promote a healthier lifestyle. If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, look for one that has a sanitize cycle. Sanitizing will ensure that no bacteria remain on the dishes that could be harmful to your health if ingested. High-quality, sustainable food storage containers can protect your health, too. When your food is properly stored and sealed in the refrigerator, the risk of accidentally consuming spoiled food is far lower.
If your goal is to follow a healthier diet, you could invest in new kitchen gadgets that help with healthy cooking. Air fryers are a popular alternative to traditional frying because they use very little oil. An instant pot or crock pot can be a great way to prepare healthy meals in large quantities. You could also purchase a blender to make smoothies, soups, or sauces.
6. Green Mattresses
Traditional mattresses may contain chemicals that pose a significant threat to your health. Many mattresses are made with polyfoam or vinyl, both of which are produced with petroleum. Synthetic latex is another common mattress component, but it may release carcinogenic gases. Similarly, flame retardants in mattresses may increase the risk of cancer, neurological issues, and hormone disruption. You spend so much of your life asleep on your mattress, so making the switch to a chemical-free mattress can be a valuable way to promote good long-term health.
7. Natural Cleaning Products
Keeping a clean home is essential for your health, but some cleaning products carry their own health risks. The chemicals and fragrances in harsh cleaning products could harm your health after prolonged exposure. They can also be extremely dangerous if accidentally ingested or if they make contact with your eyes. Some cleaning products are harmful to animals and the environment when they enter waterways, too.
Natural, non-toxic cleaning supplies can help you keep your home clean while protecting your health. However, you should be cautious of “greenwashing,” a marketing tactic used to make products appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Do careful research into brands and specific products to learn about the compounds they contain.
8. Indoor Plants
Houseplants offer a wide variety of benefits to homeowners. Many plants act as natural air purifiers, so they’re especially valuable in small homes with little airflow. Adding greenery to your home can also reduce stress and boost your mental health. If you don’t have a green thumb, look for durable plants that require little maintenance. However, keep in mind that some houseplants are toxic to pets. If you own pets, make sure any plants you bring into the home are completely safe for them.
There are virtually endless ways that you can upgrade your home to promote your and your household’s health. You can install systems to remove pollutants from your air and water, purchase appliances that promote healthy eating, and replace conventional products with eco-friendly alternatives. Investing in your health is always worthwhile, and just a few small changes can have a big payoff for your overall wellness.