There are many things you’re probably doing to keep your body as healthy as possible. Maybe you exercise 3 days a week and eat healthier foods. But have you ever stopped and thought about the health of your home? Some homes can be unhealthy for you to live in and be unhealthy themselves. Imagine a home with chemical residues, poor indoor air quality, inefficient heating and cooling systems, and old materials. You might be wondering, “What are some features of healthy homes?” Well, read on because Beacon Homes knows a thing or two about healthy, energy-efficient homes because we build them!
What Should Eco-Friendly Homes Typically Include?
1. Fresh Air Systems
For a home to be “healthy”, it must have good indoor air quality. Fresh air needs to come in while dirty air is vented out, thereby minimizing your exposure to contaminants. Poor ventilation also allows mildew, mold, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to accumulate. By using MERV filters, fresh air intake, and UV light, Beacon Homes includes everything needed to support a fresh air ventilation system for homes.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. It’s a way to measure a filter’s ability to capture larger particles, typically between 0.3 and 10 microns. The higher the MERV the better the filter. We always look to use systems that reduce indoor contaminants by trapping pollen, dust, lint, dust mites, and mold, along with smoke, pet dander, smog, auto emissions, bacteria, and other particles. It also traps odors, leaving a home’s air quality clean and odorless. This is perfect for families with a lot of pets and helps family members with allergies and asthma issues.
2. House Wrap System
Another way we keep the indoor environment of our homes comfortable and energy efficient is with a house wrap system. The lightweight wrapping material goes behind the home’s siding and acts as the secondary defense, after the siding, against water infiltration and air leaks. Too much moisture buildup can cause condensation damage, wood rot caused by fungi, and mold growth. Definitely something you won’t find in our “built healthy” homes. The house wrap system also makes our homes durable by protecting the framing and structural sheathing against water and wall cavities from air movement. This means a comfortable home for you that’s built to last.
3. Schluter® Shower System
The tiles and grout joints in your shower are water-resistant but are not naturally waterproof. They must be installed with a system that manages moisture and prevents mold growth. Therefore when we build our healthy homes, we use the Schluter® Shower System in all of the bathrooms. This system includes a set of integrated products that are easy to install and create a watertight layer behind tiled showers. It’s effective and efficient at lessening the risk of water and vapor penetrations, from drains and shower benches to pipe seals. The Schluter® Shower System helps eliminate any potential for mold, efflorescence, and leakage, meaning a safer, healthier home for you.
4. Direct Vent Fireplace
Our eco-friendly homes include direct-vent fireplaces. Essentially they use the fact that warm air rises and use it to create negative pressure and draw in fresh cold air for combustion instead of air from within your home. It then expels gasses directly outside either through the home’s roof or its side. A direct vent fireplace not only keeps your home warmer but reduces the amount of wasted energy for efficient heating and is very safe. They allow radiant heat to pass into the room without robbing it of oxygen or the heated air it is providing, while also keeping it free of fumes and combustible materials such as embers or ash.
5. Low VOC Paint
When talking about features needed for a “healthy” home, we have to mention the use of low-VOC paint. As mentioned earlier, VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. Some paints emit VOCs that become vapors or gasses that can be toxic to inhale especially for those with certain allergies. Our homes feature low VOC paints to help improve indoor air quality and offer other major benefits in our eco-friendly homes. Low VOC paint is better for the environment due to limiting air pollution and its harmful effects on our water, plants, and wildlife. If you need to do a couple of touch-ups, it’s also affordable and has less odor, so you won’t have to worry about the harsh chemical smell like traditional paints.
But Wait! Beacon Includes One More Major Addition Sure to Give You Peace of Mind!
That additional feature is trees! At Beacon Homes, we plant trees not only throughout our communities but around our homes as well. Something as simple as planting a few trees can make a world of difference when it comes to energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and overall healthy homes. They don’t just create a naturally beautiful atmosphere, they offer many benefits for you, your home, and the environment.
Something that might surprise you is that strategically planted trees near your home can save you money on your utility bills. It’s true! They can act as an effective wind barrier against cold air in the winter, keeping your home toastier, and provide shade in the summer keeping your home cooler. That means less work for your AC unit. A U.S. News reports that a paper published in the Energy and Buildings journal states that “the proper arrangement of just two trees can conserve up to 40% of heating energy and provide up to 18% cooling energy conservation during heatwaves.”
Since trees have such a large root system they can come in handy during severe rainfall and help reduce the risk of flooding. Their roots soak up the excess water and save your basement from flooding or your lawn from washing out. This benefits water quality too by regulating water flow when rain is absorbed into the ground instead of away as runoff.
Additional benefits of planting trees around your home include supporting wildlife, muffling the noise of nearby highways or urban environments, boosting your home’s value, and increasing cognitive function and positive mental health. We make sure each of our homes includes trees and landscaping that provides you with many of these benefits.
Connect with Us Today About Our Energy-Efficient Homes!
Beacon Homes wants you to have a home that prioritizes your health and well-being just as much as you do. Don’t live in a home that’s unhealthy for you. Breathe easier and feel more comfortable in a Beacon home that treats you better. Connect with us online to learn more about our energy-efficient, healthy homes in Oklahoma.