7 ways to cre­ate a high-tech, healthy home

The Bradenton Herald - - Real Estate - BY FAM­ILY FEA­TURES Ex­plore more health-con­scious so­lu­tions for your home at Mit­subishiCom­fort.com

Home tech­nol­ogy de­vices have come a long way, and many home­own­ers are dis­cov­er­ing that their fea­tures aren't just for con­ve­nience and com­fort. A grow­ing num­ber of tech­nol­ogy-en­abled home fea­tures pro­mote a health­ier liv­ing space for you and your fam­ily.

From boost­ing in­door air qual­ity to cut­ting back on dust, dirt and germs, th­ese ideas are the per­fect way to add func­tional up­grades that im­prove your qual­ity of life.

1. MIN­I­MIZE FLOOR DE­BRIS.

The floors in most homes are grounds for an un­set­tling ar­ray of dust, dirt and other un­sa­vory el­e­ments, many of which are tracked in from out­doors. A robotic vac­uum can help you keep th­ese and other al­ler­gens like pet hair un­der con­trol with next to no ef­fort. Some mod­els even know when they're low on bat­tery, re­turn to their dock­ing sta­tion to recharge then rely on me­mory to pick up just where they left off. Many are also self-emp­ty­ing for a vir­tu­ally hands­free cleanup job af­ter the ini­tial setup.

2. CRE­ATE CLI­MATE ZONES.

A zoned ap­proach to cool­ing and heat­ing sys­tems al­lows home­own­ers to cool and heat their homes in mul­ti­ple zones, re­duc­ing en­ergy con­sump­tion in spa­ces used in­fre­quently. To­day's sys­tems take cli­mate man­age­ment one step fur­ther. In ad­di­tion to reg­u­lat­ing the tem­per­a­ture, a sys­tem like Mit­subishi Elec­tric Zoned Com­fort So­lu­tions of­fers ad­vanced, multi-stage fil­tra­tion that con­stantly cleans the air to cap­ture and re­move con­tam­i­nants which may trig­ger al­lergy and asthma symp­toms, spread germs and im­pact air qual­ity. In ad­di­tion, fea­tures like plat­inum de­odor­iz­ing fil­ters on se­lect sys­tems use nan­otech­nol­ogy to ab­sorb and neu­tral­ize odors.

3. WASH AWAY GERMS.

It's only nat­u­ral that a de­vice you use to wash dirty hands is of­ten one of the most bac­te­ria-laden el­e­ments in a home. How­ever, if you don't have to touch a faucet, con­cerns about germs may di­min­ish. Hands-free faucets are hardly new; they've been the norm in pub­lic re­strooms for years. Now th­ese mod­els are more ac­ces­si­ble (and af­ford­able) for home­own­ers, of­fer­ing the same germ-min­i­miz­ing and wa­ter con­ser­va­tion ben­e­fits as their com­mer­cial coun­ter­parts.

4. MON­I­TOR FOR DAN­GER.

Fire alarms and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors are ob­vi­ous es­sen­tials for any home, but smart mod­els take pro­tec­tion even fur­ther by let­ting you know about a prob­lem even when you're not at home. By con­nect­ing the mon­i­tors to a smart de­vice, such as your phone, you can be alerted to po­ten­tial con­cerns be­fore they be­come ma­jor threats to your health or even life. An added bonus: many mod­els will also send no­tices about is­sues like low bat­tery life, so if you get the alert while you're al­ready out, you can save your­self an ex­tra trip.

5. RE­DUCE DUCTWORK.

Hu­mid­ity can cause heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing ducts to be­come damp and breed mold, mildew and bac­te­ria, but elim­i­nat­ing or re­duc­ing ductwork means less dust or bac­te­ria cir­cu­lat­ing through­out your home. You can fur­ther man­age air qual­ity with op­tions such as a Mit­subishi Elec­tric Zoned Com­fort Sys­tem. Th­ese cool­ing and heat­ing sys­tems are avail­able in both ducted and duct­less con­fig­u­ra­tions and use fil­ters that are easy to ac­cess, re­move and clean. Typ­i­cally homes only use one type of cool­ing and heat­ing sys­tem, but some home de­signs, such as room ad­di­tions or retrofits, may re­quire a hy­brid sys­tem with a mix of ducted and duct­less prod­ucts with short duct runs and ro­bust fil­tra­tion.

In fact, Mit­subishi Elec­tric ducted air sys­tems use less ductwork than tra­di­tional sys­tems. Less ductwork re­sults in less chance of air leak­age, which re­duces en­ergy loss, and less con­tam­i­nants build­ing up in the ductwork. For home­own­ers look­ing to go the duct­less route, the sim­plic­ity of an op­tion like the MLZ One-Way Ceil­ing Cas­sette in­door unit is an aes­thet­i­cally friendly so­lu­tion that blends into the ceil­ing. This sys­tem eas­ily slides be­tween stan­dard 16-inch joists.

6. LET THERE BE LIGHT.

Most ex­perts agree that nat­u­ral light is good for your over­all well­be­ing. Among the ben­e­fits are its mood-boost­ing abil­i­ties, and some re­search indi­cates it's bet­ter for your eyes than the harsh glare of ar­ti­fi­cial bulbs (as­sum­ing you don't stare di­rectly at the sun, of course). Make it easy to fill your home with am­bi­ent nat­u­ral light us­ing smart tech­nol­ogy for your win­dow cov­er­ings, in­clud­ing blinds or drapes. Whether pow­ered by a re­mote con­trol or your smart­phone, you'll have the abil­ity to cre­ate a lighter, brighter room at your fin­ger­tips.

7. DON'T OVER­LOOK THE OUT­DOORS.

A lawn that is over­wa­tered is a breed­ing ground for mold, in­sects and other threats to your health. A smart ir­ri­gation sys­tem can help reg­u­late your sprin­klers to mon­i­tor the weather and avoid un­nec­es­sary wa­ter­ing. In ad­di­tion, some mod­els al­low you to pro­gram the ex­act type of grass or veg­e­ta­tion to help keep tabs on lawn and flower bed mois­ture lev­els and make au­to­matic ad­just­ments to strike a per­fect balance be­tween dry­ing out and over­sat­u­rat­ing.

Fam­ily Fea­tures

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