Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s Health

Maintaining a healthy home is a goal most Americans share, but not all are confident they’re doing the best job they can to protect their home’s health.

According to a survey conducted by Second Nature, the nation’s largest home wellness subscription service, 62% of respondents admitted they could do a better job of attaining a healthy home, with clean air ranked as the most critical factor in achieving home wellness.

Gain more confidence in the health and cleanliness of your home with these tips:

  • Remove your shoes when you enter the house. Add entryway seating to encourage guests to take off their shoes. The bottom of a pair of shoes can contain anything from fecal matter to E. coli and pesticides. Leaving shoes at an entryway is one of the easiest ways to combat home pollution and promote a healthy home.
  • Replace air filters regularly. The air filter in your home dictates the air you breathe and ensures that it is healthy enough for ingestion. More often than not, air filters are not top of mind when thinking about home wellness, but they are crucial to every home. That’s why it’s important to replace air filters on schedule – every three months as recommended by the National Institutes of Health.

If you’re like many homeowners who struggle to remember when it’s time to change your filter, or never have a filter handy when you do remember, you may benefit from a service like Second Nature, which provides a home delivery subscription that ensures your air filters are replaced on time. The company’s high-quality air filters help reduce the risk of contracting allergies, sickness and infection while also ultimately lowering costs associated with energy bills, repairs and health-related expenses.

  • Change out your light bulbs. Choose the right color temperature for a calmer home and use energy-efficient bulbs. The selection for light bulbs is massive, and with smart home technologies that allow you to change the color of your bulb with the swipe of a finger, you can also easily control your mood. Warm lighting typically has an overall positive effect on everyone in the home. One of the keys to home wellness is ensuring you are truly happy in your home, and lighting can play a pivotal role in cultivating this emotion.
  • Open windows on good weather days. Most Americans (61%) believe the air inside their homes is cleaner than it is outside, according to the survey. However, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. This is in part because Americans tend to enclose themselves indoors, where the same air is recycled over an extended time. The smell of the meal you cooked for dinner, the trash in the garbage can and the candle you light on your nightstand all have an impact on the air quality in your home. Opening windows allows for polluted air to release itself from the home and, in turn, allows for cleaner air to circulate the space.
  • Filter your water. Water is essential to any healthy lifestyle, and drinking clean water is a luxury that is often overlooked. However, what is also overlooked is how many chemicals and toxins that can affect your health are in the tap water you drink on a daily basis. Filtering your water is one simple step that can benefit not only your own health, but the health of everyone in the home.

Find more tips and advice for creating a healthier home environment at SecondNature.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Second Nature

3 Steps to a Healthier, Happier Home

Healthy Home

Today, people are more focused on health and wellness than ever before. You know this because you are constantly flooded with advice on what to eat, how (and how much) to exercise, and what to ask your doctors.

All of these things are important but what about the vital role the home plays in your healthy lifestyle? As you prepare for another season of indoor living, it’s time to ask: how can I improve the functionality, efficiency and health of my home?

A healthy, safe and comfortable home is essential for those you love. When winter weather keeps you indoors, it’s even more important.

Tackle a few home-health tips now and your family and guests will be comfortable now and any time of year. Review and handle these must-do’s, happy home style, today!

* Adhere to a maintenance schedule. Your body requires continuous maintenance to be at its best; the same is true for your home. Simple tasks, done on schedule, can make your home a safer, more enjoyable place to live. Important items for your to-do list:

- Shut your exterior faucets off before the winter.

- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors each month.

- Clean your gutters.

- Test your sump pump each spring.

- Clean the coils under your refrigerator.

- Make sure your attic, bathroom and kitchen fans are in working order.

These maintenance tasks are easy to tackle. Once done, they will help reduce dirt on your floors and decrease any future mold risk.

* Clean up your air. Did you know indoor air can be five times dirtier than outdoor air? Did you know it can include respiratory irritants and common allergens like mold spores, fungus, pollen, mites and pet dander? Fortunately, these unappealing airborne invaders can be removed continuously by your home air filter. All you need to do is change the filter regularly, about every one to three months depending on your system. The problem — research shows up to 58 percent of us forget to do this regularly or simply don’t!

Canopy, a new subscription-based air filter service, addresses this clean air concern by providing its subscribers with the specific size and qualification air filter they need. These filters are provided on a specific schedule to save homeowners time, energy and money and to avoid a trip to a big box home care store. To learn more about how Canopy can help you improve the air quality in your home, visit canopyair.com.

* Make cleaning a family affair. A clean home is a happy, comfortable place everyone deserves but you don’t need to do it all by yourself. Encourage your entire family to work together instead. Children of all ages can help out with chores matched to their skill level. Set family rules that maximize home care and minimize cleaning chores. For example: no food outside of the kitchen, picking up towels and wiping down surfaces after a shower and removing shoes upon entering from outdoors. Your home is your sanctuary and it should feel that way all the time. Apply the tips above today, and your home will be a happier, healthier place in no time. (BPT)

5 Effortless DIY Projects to Prep Your Home for Fall — and Beyond


The telltale signs are all there. Maybe it’s football season, the changing color of the trees right outside your door, or the crisp morning air that’s suddenly taken on a chill. Yes, there’s no denying it, fall is here and winter is quickly following behind.

No matter where you live in the country, the colder months are synonymous with the indoor months. Your home becomes your refuge as well as your sanctuary. But as you prepare for the cold yourself, you may not realize your home needs some preparation as well. Now’s the perfect opportunity to begin those projects before fall gives way entirely to winter.

Below are five DIY projects you can tackle in a single Saturday with minimal expense and experience needed, each of which will make the upcoming seasons cozier for you and your family.

* Winterize your AC/water lines. Your air conditioner and your outdoor faucets are mainstays all summer, but as cooler temperatures set in, it’s time to retire them for the year. Start by draining your hoses and air conditioner pipes to remove excess water. Next, be sure all exterior water faucets are tightly sealed and your AC system is turned off — if your unit has such a switch.

* Seal up those hidden gaps and cracks. Small cracks along the borders of your windows or doors are easy to go unnoticed, but you’ll feel their presence on your monthly energy bills. Don’t let warm air escape your home through these openings. Seal them by applying GREAT STUFF(TM) Window & Door Insulating Foam Sealant. These easy-to-use foam sealants can tackle any small opening in your windows or doors to help keep your home energy efficient and prevent those costly air leaks.

* Keep your furnace and its surrounding area clean. Changing your furnace filter regularly (cleaning schedule dependent on your type of furnace) keeps your furnace running efficiently and protects your home’s air quality. However, it’s also one of the most easily forgotten chores. To avoid missing this task, set a date you’ll remember — such as the first of the month — and follow it rigidly. In addition, be sure the area around your furnace is clear of clutter so you don’t accidentally create a potential fire hazard.

* Block out unwanted guests. We’re not talking about your in-laws here. As temperatures drop, the warmth of your home becomes even more appealing for unwanted pests. Use GREAT STUFF(TM) Pestblock Insulating Foam Sealant to seal the areas around bathroom plumbing and any outdoor openings that pests may use to enter your home.

* Insulate your pipes. If you live in a part of the country where your pipes are in danger of freezing during winter, insulating them can protect against pipe rupture. Wrap exterior pipes in a versatile, moisture-resistant, high-compressive foam to ward against pipe freezing and ensure your pipes come into spring in the same shape you left them in the fall.

Our homes are only growing increasingly vulnerable with the changing of the seasons. So, what are you waiting for? Tackling any of these projects will have a dramatic effect on your home’s cold weather preparedness — and the energy bill savings will be great on your wallet, too. (BPT)

This Fall, Make Home Upgrades With Staying Power

Fall can be the perfect time for homeowners to complete projects that busy summer schedules didn’t allow. It’s also a great time to look at ways to add lasting value to your property. This season, upgrade cheap fixes, freshen dated looks and incorporate lasting improvements in your home. Changes that can bring impact and also increase the resale potential of your home include:

Lose the linoleum

Linoleum has been popular in many homes since the 1950s, but these days it’s not the only flooring option for durability and waterproofing in areas like the kitchen and bath. Wood-look tile has become hugely popular, and the style isn’t going anywhere. Retailers like Lumber Liquidators carry an array of wood-look porcelain tile, vinyl and engineered flooring products that are versatile, water- and stain-resistant and fit with any decor.

Upgrade laminate countertops

Particleboard and laminate are affordable options, but not ones that will create impact in the kitchen. These days the options are vast for elevating countertops with butcher block, quartz, marble, concrete and more. Create a cohesive look with countertops matched to the cabinets. Updating hardware can also be an economical way to freshen the space and tie the look together.

Scrape popcorn ceilings

Common in many homes because they’re easy to apply, popcorn ceilings are often one of the first things a new homebuyer wants to change. If you’re looking to sell, scraping the popcorn in favor of a smooth look may win over prospective buyers. Always test popcorn ceilings for asbestos before you start.

Rethink wallpaper

Wallpaper had its day, but many new homeowners want it gone — and that’s not always an easy update. Save the headache now and later and opt for neutral paint styles while bringing interest and color with your décor. Whites and neutral paints for walls and trim brighten a space and make it appear bigger.

No more wall-to-wall carpeting

Many homeowners can’t wait to get rid of old, dirty and dated carpets in favor of the quality, reliability and beauty of hardwood and wood-look floors. Now there are a variety of hardwoods, bamboo and wood-look flooring styles to choose from, and it’s possible to achieve the look of hardwood at an accessible price point.

The best part of making improvements like these now is that homeowners can enjoy them all winter long, and far beyond. And you’ll increase the odds the next generation will love your home, too. (BPT)