The home is the heart of every family and it is the place that provides essential shelter, a comfortable environment and a place to congregate, eat and sleep in relative safety. Some houses are better equipped to be kinder to the environment than others, thanks to better insulation, build specifications and their ability to prevent the ingress of unwanted draughts. But there is more to the health of a house than just its eco-friendliness.
Some houses are healthier than others, due to the varying ways in which they are designed, the materials used in building them and how they are furnished and decorated. So how healthy is your home?
Houses are built from a number of different materials, with wood and brick being the most common. Depending on the area where the house is built, using locally sourced materials is the most effective way of reducing the carbon footprint of a house in its initial design and build stage. But it’s important to be aware that some building materials are less healthy to humans than others.
Concrete and certain types of plaster give off unhealthy fumes long after they have dried. Some chemicals used in preserving and protecting wood from damp, rot and pest infestation can also give off dangerous fumes for a long time after treatment. So it’s important to have good ventilation to minimize the risks to the dwellers’ respiration.
Paints should also be treated with care, as some also give off gasses and fumes that may irritate respiratory tissues.
Insulating a house from the elements is one of the biggest and most cost effective ways of reducing its day to day carbon footprint. A well insulated home can drastically cut fuel consumption for heating and cooling and that makes it a very sensible and environmentally friendly undertaking.
Some insulating materials also give off potentially unhealthy fumes so it is important to understand that, especially with some cavity wall insulating foams, the house should be well ventilated or even vacated for some time after the treatment.
Furnishing, Decorating and Finishing
Most modern furnishings are relatively safe, but some cheaper imports can contain chemical treatments that could be unhealthy. Some cheap foam cushioning can also pose a serious fire risk. Paints should be checked to ensure they do not contain chemicals that would give off noxious fumes.
There are many airborne toxins that can be found in many homes, no matter hoe environmentally friendly the owners thought they might be. Some can be mopped up by placing certain indoor potted plants such as the spider plant and peace lily.
Anyone who cares to take some time to be aware of what might be creating a potential problem can take steps to deal with them. For further information on creating a healthier house and improved personal health, please visit www.healthierhouse.com for a variety of details and informative articles on a wide variety of certain health issues and their successful resolution.