Most of us are always looking for a few good ways to keep our hard earned money in our pockets. And what if there were a way to save money that improved your health and well-being as well as your quality of life? I know I’d jump on board. A lot of the time this means giving something up like junk food, sugar, eating out, etc. But today, I’m proposing some tangible ways you can improve the quality of your home environment as well as saving money.
A healthy home environment is incredibly important to the quality of our lives. After all, the products and materials we surround ourselves with will eventually end up affecting our health and well-being. By making some changes to your house and house habits this year, you can greatly influence the health of your body and your family’s bodies as well as save a little bit of money in the long run.
1. No More Chemical Cleaners
Chemical cleaners are not only grossly harmful to the air and surfaces inside our home, but they are also pretty costly for what they are. Would you pay someone to poison the air inside your home? Chemical cleaners you purchase at the store are essentially doing just that. So what can you do to change that? The easy and cost effective answer is to simply mix up your own. While it can take a small amount of your own time to mix up the recipes, it is well worth it in the end. For a fraction of the cost of a chemical cleaner, you can clean and disinfect your home with natural and safe products.
2. Utilize Fresh Air
By opening windows and allowing fresh air to exchange with the stale, old air, you not only dilute the toxins and chemicals in your air with fresh, clean air, but you will also save money. Running an HVAC system constantly will cost you in two ways: a) your HVAC system will most likely need to be replaced sooner than later, and b) you are paying for the energy to mechanically move the air around your house. Open windows whenever possible to bring fresh air into your home. It will also benefit you to know WHEN to open in your windows if you’re trying to either cool your house down or keep it warm.
3. Invest in Double Pane Windows
While windows are obviously an investment, but by installing the right windows, you can end up saving money that would be lost in heating and cooling. When you have old, leaky windows, not only do you run the risk of moisture intrusion (there’s even more money you could spend on water damage repairs), but you also lose a lot of air through the cracks. By installing the correct kind of windows, you can actually keep warm air inside during winter months, while taking advantage of warm solar rays, and additionally, you can keep hot air from coming inside during the summer months.
Yes, our society is completely and utterly addicted to electronics and electronic devices. But it is possible to prevent your exposure to the harmful electromagnetic fields that are given off by electronic devices. One way to do this is to eliminate what you can. Do you need a home telephone? Telephones, especially by your bed can be harmful to our bodies and mind when it comes to the effects of electromagnetic fields. While it is probably not possible to eliminate all the electronics and plugged in devices from your home, there are few small steps you can take. Try to keep electronics out of your bedroom, or as we call it your sleeping sanctuary. This allows your body 6-8 hours of rest from the electromagnetic rays produced. Another great way to do reduce exposure is to unplug things like routers at night. By unplugging these electronics, you won’t be paying to charge them and use them at night.
5. Keep Tabs on Seldom Visited Spots
When’s the last time you were in your attic or ventured into your crawl space? While many of these places are not necessarily our frequently visited rooms, it’s important to check in on them on a regular basis. By knowing what’s going on in your attic, or knowing if anything is out of place or doesn’t seem quite right, you can save yourself a lot of money in repairs and remodel work. Catching things like moisture intrusion immediately can mean the difference between a repair and a remodel. And knowing if your attic needs additional insulation to protect yourself from things like condensation and heat loss will also end up saving you money.
It’s also important to keep track of yearly tasks in order to ensure your home is free from pests, moisture and other pitfalls.
Obviously there are even more ways you can save money at home through choosing the right materials and products in remodels and upgrades. The most important thing to remember is that your home is an extension of you and a third skin to your body. It can help you stay healthy or it can make you sick.
I am a Certified Professional Home Inspector and Certified Building Biologist through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and International Institute for Building Biology. I have trained with Internachi as well as the Water Quality Standards Academy and the EPA.