“HVAC ducts are one of the key danger areas,” Zhao says. “Mold and dust can accumulate there, which can then spread spores, dust and allergens throughout the entire home.”
Free ways to improve your home’s health
Don’t have funds for all these updates? There are a few free changes you can make that can help your health.
First, you can open your windows more often. Letting outdoor air in and better ventilating your home can improve air quality and overall health. As Allen puts it, “We need to do a better job of letting our homes breathe.” (If you’re in a high-pollution place where opening the windows isn’t advisable, better HVAC filters or portable HEPA air filters are still the gold standard.)
Bringing in more natural light can be an easy way to help your health, too.
“The big picture for lighting is we want to reconnect with nature,” Zhao says. “Our circadian rhythm is tied to natural daylight cycles, and that regulates our sleep quality. It regulates hormone health. It regulates mental health. For decades, many buildings were designed to wall ourselves off from nature. That was a mistake.”
Builders are getting in on the healthy home trend too
Sensing a trend, homebuilders are offering many of these health features in new builds.