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No home is completely free of toxins, dust, and other allergens, but a few upgrades can help to make your house a safer, healthier place for you and your family to live, not to mention help improve your home equity by boosting its market value. For instance, replacing composite wood flooring with CARB-compliant materials or prefinished solid wood can reduce your exposure to harmful carcinogens, while replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient models may boost your mental health and well-being. To explore three types of home upgrades that can improve the health of you and your family, keep reading!
CARB-Compliant Wood Flooring
To reduce the number of harmful toxins in your home — especially if you have allergies, breathing issues, or live with pets — one of the best things you can do is replace your composite wood flooring with CARB-compliant wood materials. Unlike standard composite wood flooring, materials labeled as CARB-compliant have been certified by the California Air Resource Board, meaning they contain lower levels of formaldehyde and other harmful odors.
While prefinished solid wood flooring is an even safer alternative to any type of laminate or engineered wood, this type of flooring costs more than composite wood materials. Excluding installation fees, the cost of purchasing solid wood materials ranges between $5 and $15 per square foot, while composite wood typically ranges between $4 and $10 per square foot.
A Central Air System
If your home doesn’t already have one, a central air system could be a great investment. In addition to boosting the resale value of your home (should you choose to put it on the market down the road), central air can help keep your entire house comfortable, reduce the amount of maintenance you would put into those individual AC units, and decrease the number of pollutants and allergens that fill your indoor air. However, the systems and installation fees aren’t cheap, as you can expect to spend $5,000 on average for this type of system.
From the energy savings to the added comfort, replacing your windows with energy-efficient models can benefit your family in a variety of ways. Not only will energy-efficient windows regulate your home’s temperature and lower your energy bills, but you’ll protect your family from harmful UV rays, block outside noise, and boost your mental health as you welcome more natural light into your home. Installation fees can range from $385 to $785 per window, but keep in mind that you could save hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.
Find a Contractor
To get the most out of these home upgrades, it’s important to hire a contractor who holds plenty of experience in the type of project you wish to complete. Look for a professional remodeler in your area who is certified under the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and be sure to check the contractor’s references before signing a contract.
Do it Yourself
While some projects are best performed by a professional, there are a few upgrades you can make if you have the right tools for the job. These include:
● Giving your walls a fresh coat of low-VOC paint, as these paint formulations containing fewer substances known as volatile organic compounds.
● Installing a drinking water filtration system that removes lead, chlorine, and other chemicals from your water.
● Replacing light bulbs with high-quality LEDs.
Since many of these projects will require you to reach higher areas, you’ll need a good ladder to get the job done safely. And depending on your project, other required tools may include a putty knife, power drill, utility knife, or reciprocating saw.
By replacing your composite wood flooring with CARB-compliant materials, installing a central vacuum system, and upgrading your windows to energy-efficient models, you’ll experience benefits such as reduced utility costs, an improved mood, and easier breathing. Whether you hire a contractor to complete these projects or you do them yourself, you’ll be one step closer to making your home a healthier place to live.
John L Scott Real Estate - Lacey | Olympia | DuPont