Four steps to a health­ier home

We spend about 90 per­cent of our time in­doors, ac­cord­ing to the Healthy House In­sti­tute (healthy­hou­se­in­si­tute.com). So take a fresh ap­proach to how you spend that in­side time with these hints for a cleaner in­te­rior en­vi­ron­ment.

Timber Home Living - - Con­tents -

1 When shop­ping for a fire­place, con­sider a sealed-com­bus­tion gas hearth, which will draw out fumes and tox­ins from in­door air. Boost your air qual­ity even more by in­stalling a fan on top of your chim­ney to im­prove air cir­cu­la­tion. If your hearth burns wood, make sure it’s dry and sea­soned to min­i­mize cre­osote buildup.

2 A whole-house hu­mid­i­fier, in­stalled by an HVAC pro­fes­sional, will add mois­ture in the win­ter months, which can re­duce al­lergy and asthma symp­toms as well as pre­vent dry skin and static shocks. For those with ma­jor al­ler­gies, look into a whole-house air pu­ri­fier, which sucks in stale in­door air through vents, passes it through a HEPA fil­ter and re­leases the clean air back into the home.

3 In each room, try to in­cor­po­rate win­dows on more than one wall to en­cour­age cross-ven­ti­la­tion. Make sure your gut­ters and down­spouts drain away from your home’s foun­da­tion to pre­vent mold and wa­ter dam­age. Also, think about de­sign­ing a mud­room or util­ity room, which will iso­late any tox­ins (pes­ti­cides, mold, etc.) you may track from in­side.

4 Use your ex­ist­ing bath­room fans and kitchen range hoods fre­quently to im­prove your home’s air qual­ity and re­duce the chance for mold. Also, keep your HVAC unit in good health by get­ting it in­spected an­nu­ally and by fre­quently chang­ing the sys­tem’s fil­ters. Dirty, clogged air fil­ters ham­per air qual­ity and re­duce ef­fi­ciency, mak­ing the unit more costly to run.

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