Indoor air quality: 6 signs you are living in a healthy home

Posted on June 7, 2023 in Energy/Health/Tech

It may be surprising—and scary—to think that your home is polluted. Look around. Allergens and pollutants are lurking everywhere. Think about everything you use in your home that is giving off potentially dangerous toxins:

  • Tobacco—carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide 

  • E-cigarettes—nicotine, formaldehyde, and metals

  • Gas stoves, furnaces, heaters, and fireplaces—carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide

  • Chemical cleaners, disinfectants, aerosol sprays, air fresheners, paint, dry-cleaned items, adhesives—volatile organic compounds (VOC)

  • Cooking fumes—various airborne chemicals, including ammonia

  • Pressed wood products—formaldehyde

  • Carpet—VOCs, mold spores, pet dander, dust mites

  • Sinks, showers, and tubs—Mold

  • Pets—insects, mold, cat saliva

So, now that you know the sources and dangers associated with poor indoor air quality, how can you be sure you are living in a healthy home? Let’s look at the 6 signs you’re living in a healthy home.

6 signs of a healthy home

#1. You have a whole home filtration system.

Did your builder include a whole home filtration system? This essential feature cleans the air, filtering out the pollutants. The system is built into your home’s HVAC and works consistently so you can breathe easier.

New Home Inc.includes a whole home filtration system with a fresh air intake as an included feature in every single home and townhome we build. Our system purifies the air, provides ventilation, controls humidity, and mitigates radon. We don’t want you to just enjoy your home, We want you and your family to live healthy and worry-free.

#2. The air filters are rated at least at MERV 11.

The air filter is a screen that fits in your HVAC system, recirculating the air in your home. It draws in air and extracts the impurities, and then sends cleaned air back into your home. 

The effectiveness of the filter depends on the quality and tightness of the mesh. The tighter the weave, the better it traps particles. You can figure out which one is the best choice by referring to the “MERV” rating—theMinimum Efficiency Reporting Valuesthat measure an air filter’s ability to trap particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. A MERV rating of 8, for example, is 35% effective at removing at least 70% of particles in this size range. A MERV 11, which is what New Home Inc., insists on in our homes, is 85% effective or greater. 

#3. You have a back-up supply of air filters.

You shouldreplace your air filters regularly. Check them monthly to see how dirty the air filters have become. Dirty filters not only fail to cleanse the air but also cause your HVAC system to work harder, driving up your utility bill and putting more wear and tear on the equipment. Make it easy on yourself by stocking up on replacement air filters so you have them on hand when you need to make a healthy switch. With a whole home filtration system by New Home Inc, you only need to change the filter a few times per year.

#4. Your dust bunnies aren’t reproducing.

Dust bunnies—those fluffy little tumbleweeds that gather around the floor, in corners, and under the furniture—are more toxic than you might think. Each clump consists of dust mites, hair, lint, pet fur, dead skin, spider webs, dead insects, and debris. Static electricity gathers these nasty little bits together—and they keep growing. If your dust bunny population is growing, clean your air filter and replace it as needed. A dirty air filter creates a breeding ground for dust bunnies.

You can also reduce dust bunnies by dusting the furniture, cleaning the floors, removing shoes at the door, and laundering linens (hidden home of skin cells). 

Managing the humidity in your home will help to control the static electricity that creates those clumps. In dry places and seasons (like winter), a humidifier is a good investment, because it reduces static electricity. In more humid climates, use a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of dust gathering in your home.

#5. VOCs are MIA.

Paint and varnish have historically been the most significant sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the home. Carpet, vinyl flooring, composite flooring, upholstery, air fresheners, and cleaning products are also on the list, but when you realize that every room in your home has paint on the walls and trim, the concern for the paint’s VOC content should be on the top of your list of things to look out for.

Be sure to ask your builder about the type of paint used in your home. New Home Inc. uses only low VOC paint by Sherwin Williams in all of our new homes for sale. Low on pollutants, high on quality.

#6. You have plenty of windows to open.

What’s the easiest way to improve the indoor air quality in your home? Open the windows! In any season, throw open your windows for at least ten minutes a day. Don’t worry. This simple act is not going to drive up your utility bills. If you have energy-efficient windows, you’re already protected from drafts when the windows are closed. But don’t forget those windows can—and SHOULD—open, too.

A New Home is a healthy investment.

New homes are more advanced in terms of construction, design, features, and technology. When you buy a new construction home, you’re gaining greater value from your investment. And indoor air quality that comes with a new, healthy home is one of those big rewards.

Every one of New Home Inc.’snew homes for salein Raleigh and the surrounding area adheres to our “Future-Proof” approach: thinking about the way we live now—which is different than even a few  years ago—and how we can plan ahead for future comforts and conveniences.

We’re committed to providing homes that include the features you want and need, and many you haven’t even thought about.

There are so many considerations when choosing the home, community, location, and builder for your new home. We hope you’ll think of New Home Inc. as the builder who is looking after your needs, present and future. We’ve chosen a variety of areas to build our new homes for sale in Raleigh and the Raleigh suburbs, prioritizing a desirable location that’s affordable. Then, we apply our Future-Proof ideas and give you more home than you expect! When you want to breathe easier about buying a home,talk to usat New Home Inc.