The fresh air makes us want to go outside, be active and walk around to see the nature. Being indoor and outdoor air can affect your life’s quality. Moreover, it can affect more if you are an asthma or allergy sufferer. If you can’t do anything about outdoor activities, you can do some things to decrease the discomforts you get in your house. You can carefully plan and select your home design. Whether you will remodel, update or have a new home, you can follow these tips in planning healthy home design. The tips are focused in minimizing the exposure to irritants and get your life quality better in your home. You can select the right coating, construction and products for interior decoration.
1. VOC’s in Everything
VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. If you work on indoor air quality, you must be familiar with VOC. You can find VOC in all things start from paints, cleaning agents, plywood and even floor finishes in the home. Actually, the level of VOC can reach 10 times higher in the home comparing with outside. Based on the Green Parent list, VOC is one of the biggest causes of asthma for children. Fortunately, nowadays, many companies are trying to minimize VOC in their products. That’s why you should more focus on the products which have zero VOC for your home.
2. Heating, Cooling & Central Air
Here are some steps you should consider in designing your heating, cooling and central air system. These steps are really helpful if you or your family member have asthma. You can decrease allergens at very least.
For allergy and asthma sufferers, it is better to have in-floor radiant heat. It can lessen significantly the spread of common allergens at home. It is not the same like forced hot air system. It doesn’t push the circulation around the house.
To reduce allergens, you should install cooling system and central air conditioning systems. Using the right filters such as electronic air filter will be great. The allergens will be removed completely from the home. It can decrease molds, pollens and minimize the respiratory problems especially asthma. It is recommended if you install the cooling system for the whole house not only room by room. The quality of indoor air will be improved drastically. You can later observe and evaluate on which system you will think the best for you.
Having the right ventilation and proper air flow in the home is very crucial in reducing allergens. You can design the ventilation systems; have ceiling fans and place windows and door. Although this may invite irritants from outside the house but it will bring fresh air. Moreover, for a while, indoor pollutant will move outside as well. What you can do is to change the filters regularly. This is the basic thing to make sure that only healthy air will come in. The quality of the air whether from inside or outside the house is really matter.
3. Construction Materials
Talking about construction materials, you can select plywood which is free from formaldehyde and VOC. PureBond plywood is one of the products which are recommended by the Green Parent List. It has no VOC at all and can be accessed easily in home store. You can use this plywood for flooring, wall and ceiling panels. Adhesives can be applied for constructing the home as well and make sure to get the low or zero VOC products. For interior walls, people like using plaster, drywall or sheetrock. There are plaster products which are natural earth based. They are not only zero VOC but they also can help in controlling the temperature, humidity and moisture. Most importantly, they are resistant to mold. The components are healthy and keep allergen away from the house. Choosing the wrong drywall and sheetrock can be worsening because most of them contained chemical and they attract mold. However, you can ask for drywall and sheetrock which are resistant to water, mold, fire and fungus. Moreover, there are no organic solvents, toxic, oils and other dangerous components.
4. Interior Decoration
This is such exciting time to choose colors, furniture, fabrics and wood flooring. After looking at nails and plywood for couple of months, this is the time you can make your home comes to life. For many people, it is the fun time. However, still you should maintain your commitment to only use environmental friendly, zero VOC and healthy indoor setting for asthma and allergy sufferers.
Choosing the flooring means you choose the backdrop of your decorations. Moreover, it is not like couch or curtain which can be replaced as you pleased. So you have to think about the flooring carefully. There are many researches which suggest the use of hard surface for flooring such as hardwood. It is good for homes in which there are asthma or allergy sufferers. This flooring is attractive and most importantly it is resistant to any mold, dust mites and other allergens. Different with rugs and carpets, wood floors has the benefit of not attracting microorganism, allergens or harmful pesticides from outside. Moreover, the home with wood floors can minimize the contamination of mold, dust and animal dander so the air quality is improving. Other options for hard surface flooring are stone, tile or slate. Hardwood floors are the best for family room and kitchen in which you need to be more comfortable. Try to avoid using laminate, bamboo and other floors which are produced in massive number. They usually contain VOC and formaldehyde.
Bath & Kitchen Design
It is better to always minimize the allergen to come in to your house and try to improve the indoor air quality as much as possible. The small things you can do in the kitchen and bath is to find cabinet which is zero VOC plywood. Install ventilations above the stove and ceilings. The healthy air will flow better. You can ask an architect to do this.
Paint and Finishing
There are many types of finish, varnish and stain for your home interior and exterior. Choose the one which has zero VOC. Many companies offer solutions about it. There are some products which can absorb the odor and VOC to get better air quality.