We spend around 65% of our time in our home so follow our 5 tips for a healthy home.
A report from Harvard School of Public Health found:
The home influences heart health, brain health, hormone health, mental health, all these factors. We know what a healthy meal looks like. We know that exercise is good for you and that pollution is bad for you. But we know a lot less about the places where we spend all of our time.
Much of what the report found is cause for concern such as, “cooking with poor ventilation can make kitchen air resemble that of a smog-filled city.
When we cook most of us aren’t thinking that we are fundamentally changing the air quality inside our home, but making a meal can generate a lot of particles. In your kitchen you can generate levels that look like a bad outdoor-air-pollution day in Beijing or Los Angeles, and depending on your type of ventilation, or if you don’t have an exhaust over your stove, those levels can get high and stay high.
The science says you have to have an exhaust hood and it has to be exhausted to the outside,” he added, “otherwise, you are just collecting it and redistributing it somewhere else but not out of the house.”
So here are our 5 Tips for a HealthY Home
1 Ventilate your home
Make sure you have a range hood in your kitchen and extraction fan in your bathroom to extract moisture. And as the Harvard article found, your extraction unit needs to be vented to the outside.
Sustain Trust NZ say ‘a good way to test the extractor fan is to see if it the suction can hold an A4 piece of paper. If it can’t then it may be too weak and might need repairing/upgrading.’
You might find these articles useful:
- VENTILATION IN THE HOME: IS IT WORTH GETTING A BATHROOM EXTRACTOR FAN INSTALLED?
- VENTILATION IN THE HOME: IS IT WORTH GETTING A RANGE HOOD?
2 Install a Ground Moisture Barrier
If your home has a suspended floor with more than 50% of the soil exposed, then we recommend installing a ground moisture barrier (also referred to as a vapour barrier or polythene sheeting).
On average, 1.5 cups of water can evaporate from each 1m² of ground in 24 hours – that’s over 250 cups a day for a 150m² house! This moisture then ends up in your home and causes rot, mould and mildew.
We have a great article called, ‘Do I need a ground moisture barrier?’ with some great Q&As.
3 Heat your home
The World Health Organisation recommends that living areas should be heated to 18°C and bedrooms should be heated to 16°C.
We have a range of Heat Pumps (that can also be used as air conditioners) depending on your needs and budget. You can view pricing here >>
You might find these articles helpful:
- DO HEAT PUMPS USE MORE POWER?
- WHAT SIZE HEAT PUMP OR AIR CONDITIONER DO I NEED?
- WHICH HEAT PUMP IS BEST NZ?
Sustain Trust NZ say “look for energy efficient heating that is affordable to run such as heat pumps which (on average) turn $1 of electricity into $4 of heat. The kiwi mentality of wrapping up and toughing it out might save a few dollars, but you’ll still be breathing in cold damp air which isn’t healthy.
4 Insulate your home
In Winter you can lose heat everywhere in the home e.g
- 30-40% disappears out your Ceiling & Roof
- 10-15% out the Windows
- 20-30% from Walls
- 10-15% from your floors!
To get insulation installed for an average house (100m2) it costs:
- $1746 + gst for ceiling insulation
- $1700 + gst for underfloor insulation
You might find these articles helpful:
5 Don’t dry your clothes inside the home
Drying your clothes on a clothes horse can put 2-5 litres of moisture into the air! If you don’t have a drier then use a dehumidifier or at least switch on your extrators to help remove moisture from the air.
Driers cost on average only $1 per cycle to run. If you use it once a week for a month that’s only $4 added to your monthly power bill. You will potentially spend more than that trying to heat the damp air inside the home from drying your clothes indoors for “free”. When using a drier, make sure it vents outside or is a condenser. (source: sustaintrust.org.nz)