healthy home with optimal sunlight
1950s Rambler, Reinvented

 

One of our top priorities at Optima Homes is creating a healthy, holistic environment that promotes physical and mental wellbeing. What does that mean? It means eliminating clutter, encouraging sunlight, and not using toxic materials in our building process. Here are some of the key things to look for when determining the health of your home:

Optimize Sunlight

"Refined Farm House" in Minneapolis
“Refined Farm House” in Minneapolis

Studies show that plenty of sunshine reduces depression, gives our skin the vitamin D it needs, and even kills microbes. It also creates a pleasant home atmosphere that can instantly lift your mood. Think about how light is used in your home. Are your south-facing windows clear of furniture and heavy curtains? Are you allowing light to filter through your home with an open floor plan, glass doors, or sky lights? Is your furniture arranged to take full-advantage of the sun? Contact us for more ideas on how to take advantage of natural light in your home.

Prevent Radon

RadonEntersHouse

According to the EPA, exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. But how does it get inside your home in the first place? Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium found in the soil. I moves up through the ground and can get in your home if you have cracks in your foundation, gaps between construction joints, cavities inside your walls, etc. Prevention of radon gas is one of our key concerns for your home, which is why we use radon-resistant techniques in all our construction.

What’s the first step to eliminate radon from your home? Purchase a radon home-testing kit and study these EPA recommendations.

Avoid Products with VOCs

VOCs in home products

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in a variety of household supplies, including paints, lacquer, and pesticides. These chemicals may have short- and long-term adverse health effects such as nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, liver damage, nervous system damage, and possibly even cancer (with long-term exposure). Fortunately, it is getting easier to eliminate VOCs from your home. Look for no-VOCs paint and all-natural household cleaners.

Fight Mold

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Mold thrives in damp, moist environments and can cause allergic reactions, irritants, and sometimes potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Mold can even induce asthma attacks and can irritate the eyes, skin, or throat. One of the keys to preventing mold is to prevent excess moisture from entering your home. The source of your moisture problem could be a number of things—poor roofing, leaky walls, a contaminated HVAC system, faulty plumbing—and it is best to consult a professional. If you’re thinking about investing in new construction, ask us about mold growth-prevention construction techniques.

Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO