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Building a Healthy Home

Americans spend an average of 65% of their time at home, usually thought of as a safe place. However, many studies suggest that some homes may be harmful to the health of the people who live there, especially those with allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities or other lung problems.

If you want to maintain, remodel or build a home that is healthier, the first step is to find where the problems are, or can be.

If you want to make a home that you currently live in healthier:

  • Eliminating sources of indoor pollutants is the key to creating a healthier environment. Common pollutants include: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria, dust mites, pet dander and pollens, and environmental tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke).

If you are remodeling or renovating a home:

  • This may be a good time to look at better control of and improved moisture and humidity; ventilation and air filtration, use of non-toxic materials to ensure a healthier home environment.

If you are building a home:

  • You may want to talk to your builder about incorporating certain building standards, construction techniques, and products that will make your home healthier. Advantages to building in this way include:
    • Improved air quality, providing a more comfortable and healthier living environment
    • A home that is less toxic, and environmentally "green"
    • Greater durability, energy and resource efficient
    • A better performing home needing less maintenance
    • A home that will increase its value over time

Typically, building a healthier home includes:

  • Foundation waterproofing and moisture control
  • An insulated basement, walls and slab floor
  • Advanced insulation techniques and air tightness
  • Energy efficient, high performance windows
  • Energy efficient and sealed combustion appliances
  • High efficiency air filtration and ventilation
  • Humidity control
  • Carefully selected interior finishings that are far less toxic
  • Radon control

Will it cost more to build your home using these standards?

  • While building a healthier home may cost 5-8% more than traditional construction methods, it can actually save you money through a 30-40% reduction in your utility bills, preventing sickness, and be far more comfortable.

Learn more about building a home using these proven healthy methods.