How to Transform Your House into a Healthy Living Space?
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
Pollution is now a global threat and it is lurking around as an omnipresent factor in our everyday life. In this situation it has become extremely important to build a healthy living space where we can stay away from the vicious circle of pollution. It’s not tough, but it is a challenge indeed.
In real life, mostly we find heavy pollution outside and we can’t do much about it. But when it is about your home, for obvious reason, you won’t like inviting some more pollution to your life. As a consequence, to curb down the harmful effects of pollution, people like you are striving nowadays to maintain healthy living spaces.
The increased rate of pollution outside has contributed to the increased infliction of diseases. Although the fault is of entire human civilization and indiscriminate use of technology, you should be taking the necessary steps in personal life and space to avoid all types of possible and impossible inconvenience. Here in this article, we have discussed the clue of making a home into a healthy living space. Health and safety at home is a priority issue which needs attention while transforming your house into an ergonomic green corner, a happy living nest.
As quoted by ‘Florence Nightingale’, “The connection between health and dwelling is one of the most important factors that exist in society.” Health relates to where people live as people spend their 50% or more of their lives inside their homes. It does make sense that home environment accounts for significant influences both on health and wellbeing.”
According to ‘Mark Bauer, Louise Clarke, et.al.’ (Published in Health and Wellbeing in Homes), “Our home, both the location and the physical building itself, influences almost every aspect of our lives – from how well we sleep, how often we see friends, to how safe and secure we feel. “Understanding occupant behavior is vital when designing buildings for health and wellbeing…”
Homebuilding and wellness go hand in hand. You might not want to believe, but the environment of your house has an essential impact on you. Everything in your home, from the materials to the layout, is going to impact directly on your health, physical and emotional. The warm rays of sun have a very positive impact on your health, while the leaking drainage pipes may affect negatively your peace of mind. As a result, you should be careful about the window placement to allow sufficient warm sunrays to enter your house. A playful design thus helps in maintaining a level in home wellness and hence provides a balanced house.
What is a Healthy House?
A distinct span of your day is spent in your house and that is why it should have a positive impact on your health for sure. A healthy home is one where you are mostly free from the risk of diseases and germs or from emotional turmoil or simply to have a healthy living. To attain a completely healthy house is almost next to impossible because of the breeding pollution all around. However, you still can make an impact by introducing necessary measures in your home.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or time to make a healthy home, but small efforts can eventually help you to build healthy vibes there. By building a healthy home, you are contributing your bit toward promoting a healthy environment in society. One point is essential in this aspect: going green doesn’t need to be expensive always, as simple changes can help to have a significant impact. For instance, if you want a healthy and greener environment, you may think of having solar panels, you may use non-toxic paints, or may install sustainable wood flooring or have full natural ventilation with sunlight. These are easy to avail and easier to maintain even!
What are the Hidden Dangers?
Apparently, the home may look safe, but there are certain possibilities that may make you sick. Most of the factors in the house that mostly pose health risks include the presence of mold, rodents, lead-based paints, VOC, smoke, pesticides, and insects hiding in gutter. Moreover, the carbon monoxide and radon around the house can pose even more health risks. However, many of these deadly health threats are found hidden inside the house, which you have to neutralize for building a healthy house.
Whether you are planning to build a new home or renovating the old one, you always have the opportunity to make it healthier. Hence, if you are tired of the surrounding dirt, maybe you should consider relocating to the space to a healthy living one.
How to Transform the House into a Healthy Living Space?
If you are renovating and if you can’t afford to do it at one shot, you may take up each room one by one. Ranging from the living room to kitchen, you can always select a particular area and plan the needful to transform it into a greener area.
Some of the handy tips that can help you to transform the house into a healthy living space include the following:
Kitchen, despite being one of the most visited areas in a house, is often one of the most neglected ones when it comes to designing. Since meals are prepared in the area, a kitchen should be transformed into a healthy space without any exception. For example, a kitchen must have one properly laid-out drainage system. Unless there is a proper drainage system, it can result in extreme difficulties in managing cleanliness of the area.
Whenever you are renovating or building the kitchen, you should prepare the layouts with mind and brain. Moreover, you should build up a spacious kitchen counter to the extent possible to avoid problems due to congestion. You may opt for organic cooking system to complement the effort.
While organizing the counter space, you should have a proper strategy in mind. Try to keep a reasonable gap between the sink and the cooktop, so that you can easily cook, wash, and chop off your vegetables without having any risk of interruption. The green kitchen should have a quality water filter along with solid waste management system. As the owner of the house, your effort should involve your earnest desire for improving the system. Natural or cross ventilation is highly solicited; however, you may think of installing an exhaust fan or a kitchen chimney: these additions will help you to improve indoor air quality of the space for sure.
02. Living Room
Apart from the kitchen, the living room is one of the most frequently visited spaces in your house. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of this area too, to maintain the indoor air quality of the house. Living room windows can, however, contribute a lot toward inviting fresh air into the adjacent area.
Do you have an extremely polluted surrounding? If yes, don’t open the windows very frequently. As per the general calculation, indoor air quality is generally found two to five times more polluted than the outdoor area, so you have to clean the indoor air first. Instead of having fixed windows, you should have operable windows so that you can replace the stale air and allow fresh air to come in naturally. More fresh air in your house will maintain the air quality and will reduce the intensity of most of the chronic respiratory diseases. Moreover, this setting also contributes to enhancing the cognitive functioning of the body.
03. Bedroom Flooring
The bedroom is where you sleep and get rejuvenated every morning. Undoubtedly, your bedroom is one of the premium areas of your house that keep you healthy and lively all day long. Therefore, maintaining the indoor air quality of your bedroom is a pre-requisite. For example, you may install a floor that does not emit VOC. Install those materials, which are natural and easy to clean. Flooring with low VOC can be pretty helpful in the long run.
You should avoid putting carpet in your bedroom floor as some of these carpets are made of chemical colours which may emit toxic vibes in the air, which becomes highly detrimental to the indoor air quality.
Carpets made with certain chemical treatment are vulnerable to attract toxin-carrying dust which can move around the house. Suppose you are to walk into your bedroom. Here before your family, your first encounter will be with those chemicals which are harmful to your body. You need to keep such things under control in planned and minimalistic ways. Consult an expert if necessary.
04. Bathroom Safety
The bathroom is an important area where we excrete harmful toxins from our body and get cleaned. So, it has to be super clean and disinfected are as much as possible. It is a moist prone area hence can be slippery with a high risk of injury. Wet feet and slippery surfaces often increase the risk of tripping. Most of the people do not prefer getting a bathtub in their house maybe for space issue or maybe for budget problem. If you are one of them, you may go for a zero-threshold shower for some distinct added advantages. A zero-threshold shower does not have a lip so you don’t need to step in and out of the shower. Since there is no lid, the chances of slipping off and getting injured become lesser than usual.
Most people fail to focus on the bathroom design which may increase these tripping hazards. The risk increases when you have kids and senior citizens in your house, as they are most prone to slip off.
If you have tanks and RO filters installed in your house, you should be cleaning it regularly. Proper maintenance of these gadgets would eventually involve clean water and healthy environment.
You should plan the bathroom layout before starting the work. If you are looking forward to a safe and balanced layout in the bathroom, you may opt to create a spa-like bathroom. Some of the essential arrangements you should be adding in your spa-like washroom include ergonomic shelf, soaking tub, and sauna provided your budget permits. Make sure that there is enough space on the shelf to put up objects in a stable way. Always try to avoid having damp areas in the bathroom to avoid the risk of manifestation of mold and pesky insects.
05. Fitness Room
Some people maintain a fitness room gym in their house. Since you are practicing fitness, you should try your best to make a healthy environment there. However, even if you do not have a fitness room in your house, you may draw some playful designs such as ladders, climbing walls, etc. to boost an active lifestyle.
The location of your fitness room imposes a significant impact on your healthy living. You should plan your fitness room where it is overtly visible and not under the stairs or basement. Keeping your fitness room in a hidden area will have a discouraging mentality for you, which may prevent you to go there and spending time happily, which will demotivate you ultimately.
Experts suggest that you should be keeping your fitness room located in areas where you most frequently visit. If you have two floors in your house, make sure to place the fitness room on the first floor. Moreover, since the trend of work from home is quite common these days, place the fitness area between your bedroom and office area. Include movement in your routine, which can boost up your health and level of wellness. The more you be active; more energy will flow around you letting you feel naturally energetic. This will contribute to driving away illness.
Your entryway is the first area of encounter with the toxins outside. It is usually the passage that gives an open access to the toxins to enter your happy house. Take special care so that the dirt from waste chemicals, animal products get restricted from entering your house through the entry pass. This will eventually lead to your kid being affected by various diseases. If the entry is kept protected and monitored, somehow entry of pollution in your home zone will get controlled.
Do you want to prevent dust and dirt from entering your house? If yes, please start encouraging your guests and family members to take off their shoes before they enter your house. To facilitate their action of taking off footwear, you may place a small seating provision near the door so that they can sit and take off their shoes comfortably. Apart from the seat for elders, you should as well be including a shorter seat for the little ones to prevent the impending slipping hazard. The seating can also act as an extra space where you can store your essentials.
Your house should be a safe space for the kids and elder ones of your family. For obvious reason, you try your best to maintain the safety standards here. Apart from that, you should also keep the sharp materials away from easy access. To fight any kind of emergency, a first aid kit should always be available at your home with up to date medicines in it. Health is a wealth and safety make it stronger.
Cleaning Tips for Healthy House
A clean house boosts healthy living. It is the first step to maintain a healthy family. If you want to build a healthy house, make sure to clean it thoroughly at regular course. Some of the handy and basic methods to clean the house may include:
01. Dust the House
Dirt build-up in your house at the end of the day turns into a health hazard. You should prefer dusting your house on a regular basis. The dirt buildup in your air conditioner filters can lead to compromised indoor air quality. If you have an air conditioner in your house, don’t forget or overlook the formality of dusting/water washing the air filters. Apart from that cleaning the ducts and vents can help to reduce pollen entry in your home. Less pollen in the indoor air will reduce the risk of infesting airborne allergens in the indoor air.
02. Mold and Mildew
Mold growth in a house can contaminate the entire indoor air quality. The growth of mold and mildew in the house can further increase the risk of diseases as it boosts up allergic reactions to the occupants in the house. Mold and mildew infestation in your home generates a grouchy ambiance and you may fall sick. The chances of mold and mildew growth are the maximum in moist areas like bathrooms.
Consider using a non-toxic cleaning product to clean the damp areas. This cleaning spree further helps in preventing the unwanted growth of mold and mildew. Make your happy home free of health threats as much you can.
03. Check the Rugs
The wooly surface of rugs often attracts big amount of dust and dirt. Therefore, if you want to promote a healthy environment inside home, you should ensure that all the rugs are thoroughly clean and health safe. The rugs placed on bare floors should have mats under them. For obvious cleaning issues, the old mats should be washed and cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that they do not slide away. You should prefer getting a non-skid mat in the house to prevent the things from sliding away.
04. Chimney Sweep
If you have a fireplace in your house, you are already aware of the fact that it is a source of high amount of dirt gathering in your house and it can act as a trigger for respiratory problems. Instead of cleaning it by yourself, you should prefer hiring professionals to clean the chimney. Hiring experts to clean the chimney will help to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide exposure and further health risks, which is a fabulous step for making your home a health safe green place.
05. Change Batteries
If you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your house, please ensure to change the battery on a regular basis. Changing the batteries on a regular basis will confirm that the detectors are perfectly functional. Instead of throwing the batteries in the trash, you can arrange disposing them maintaining proper protocol or recycling them by dumping them at waste center for hazardous items.
06. Organize Medicine Cabinet
If you have a first aid kit or medicine cabinet in your house, you must keep the items organized at regular course. If there are any old medicines in the cabinet, throw off them and replace them with new medicines.
07. Big Windows
You may not realize immediately but big and spacious windows are an essential arrangement in a house for their extra ordinary natural ventilation power. The sunrays help in enhancing the safety of your home. Moreover, they also contribute toward proper regulation of air flow.
Also Read: Home Windows: All You would Like to Know!
To put it in a nutshell, a healthy home design ensures a healthy lifestyle and better level of wellbeing for you and your family. Make sure to take care of all the essentials to maintain the healthy ambiance in a house. Maintaining a healthy home is a unique contribution to maintain a happy and healthy family life and spreading a positive vibe all around. It’s not a rocket science and can be done with little effort and awareness.
We hope that the information provided here will give you a realistic idea regarding how to transform your house into a healthy living space. Stay happy, live green!
Kazi Ubaid – Kazi Ubaid is a freelance writer, professional blogger, ghost writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. He uses that curiosity, combined with his experience as a freelance business owner to write about subjects valuable to small business.