Some people put off home renovations for months and even years because they can’t handle the dust, noise, and people invading their house. They find the very prospect of having their already tight routines disrupted by changes to where they live to be very stressful.
However, even more importantly for some, especially those with allergies, home renovations can be a threat to their physical health because the tearing down of walls and ripping up off carpets and floors can release all kinds of spores, particulates, and allergens into the air.
Those with chemical sensitivities can have severe issues as many paints, solvents and varnish emit fumes that trigger headaches, respiratory issues, and skin allergies. However, there are some measures that you can take to minimize the impact that home renovations can have on your indoor air quality.
1. Make Sure All Areas Under Construction Are Tented
The key to preventing allergens and toxins from floating through the air and causing health issues is to draw strong boundaries between the work areas and the areas where you live. This means tenting the area with big sheets of heavy plastic to make sure that dust and fumes do not escape into the air. Doors to the rooms where areas are treated can also be shut and then sealed with tape, so any dust is contained and allowed to settle to the floor.
2. Make Sure Areas with Fumes Have Ventilation
Stripping wood, varnishing floors and gluing down carpets can cause smelly fumes and chemical off-gassing to permeate the area so make sure that these areas are well ventilated. Keep windows opens and place fans in a position that allows the toxic air to be blown away into the outdoors. Avoid these rooms and do not turn on air conditioning or heating systems until all of the odors have cleared away on their own.
3. Prevent Stress with Regular HVAC Maintenance
One sure way to save money as well as protect your health during a home renovation is to continually change the air filters. This prevents your ducts and vents from clogging up and as a bonus, your annual energy bill may be as much as 15% lower. Changing your air filters twice a year is what is usually recommended, but if you suffer from a respiratory condition or environmental allergies, then you might want to have them changed once a month.
4. Reduce Stress and Cost by Installing Air Filters
One of the main ways that Gloucester County, NJ residents can reduce the stress of home renovation is to make sure that your HVAC system is in perfect working order long before the start date of your renovations. This means having all of the components of your HVAC system inspected and having your air filters replaced. People who have allergies and environmental sensitivity should have their air filters replaced at least once a month and the same goes for anyone who is going through a house renovation. In fact, if the fumes from paint, glue and varnish and dust from renovating are heavy, you might want to replace them every two to three weeks so that anything harmful that is in the air cannot be recycled through your home.