Trim Your Fat for the New Year- The Home Edition – Part II
Now that you have instituted some measures in last week’s part 1 of our multi-part series (Trim the Fat – Home Edition) to work on energy savings in your home, now it’s time to make sure that your home is also healthy to live in.
Take better care of your health– This includes not only the food you eat but also the air you breathe and the water you drink. So, as you munch on your salad or sip your smoothie to help your body be healthier, let’s also take a moment to focus on the health of your home.
1) Check for radon in your air and water. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year according to the US EPA. This makes it the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. You can learn more about radon by visiting the EPA’s website.
- 1 out of every 3 NH homes has elevated radon levels making this an essential part of your NH home inspection.
- The EPA and most state health organizations recommend testing homes every 2-5 years for radon in the air. This is especially important if you are finishing off a basement for your man cave, entertainment area, or play room!
- Already have a radon mitigation system in your house? You still need to be testing at least every five years to ensure it is working effectively!
2) Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your house in addition to your smoke detectors to allow early detection of this deadly gas. Chances are, if you live in New Hampshire, you have multiple potential carbon monoxide threats in your home! Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that comes from car exhaust, gas stoves, gas or oil heating system, and even your wood stove. We are always amazed at how many houses still don’t have detectors when they are so readily available. The combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a convenient alternative. If you already have a carbon monoxide detector- nice job! Now make sure you change the batteries (if applicable).
- Be sure to hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect your chimneys and vents to help prevent the carbon monoxide from entering in the first place.
3) Test your water for harmful components. Resolving to drink your eight 8 oz glasses of water a day? Make sure you are not actually causing more harm than good by having your water tested regularly. The Dept. of Environmental Services recommends testing wells:
- Annually for potential acute contaminants such as bacteria and nitrates
- Every 3 Years for chronic contaminants including arsenic, radon, uranium, lead, and copper
- Premier would be happy to help you with your water testing needs. Simply call or email if you would like more information about options and pricing.
4) Help prevent mold formation by ensuring your bathroom has a vent and it exhausts outside rather than just into the attic or ceiling. Consider having an electrician add a timer switch to your exhaust fan to allow it to run for 30 minutes after your shower for best moisture reduction. Now is a perfect time to vacuum and clean your vent fan for best circulation. If you are adding a fan, be sure to select fans with the ideal capacity based on the size of your bathroom.
- Think you might already have mold? Peniel Environmental Services is a local family owned and operated company that is a great resource for mold testing and mold remediation in NH. You can schedule a free consultation with them at: http://www.penielenv.com/
5) Consider adding plants to help improve air quality and make your home seem more “finished.” This can also be a relatively inexpensive way to decorate if you are on a budget.
Our staff veterinarian just wants to remind you to ensure you are using pet-safe plants if you have 4-legged friends at home! ASPCA toxic and non-toxic plant list. New to the area and looking for a veterinarian? No, not for you – for your pet. We can help with that, too – Visit Milford Animal Hospital and tell them Premier Home Inspection Services sent you.
Hopefully some of our tips will help you create a healthy home in 2016. Please contact us (your highly rated NH home inspector) with any questions!