People spend a great deal of time at home. Hence, poor housing conditions can put our health at risk.
According to the WHO, improving the living conditions of a home can save lives, prevent diseases, increase the quality of life, reduce poverty, help mitigate climate change and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is confirmed by the report “Who Housing and Health Guidelines”, published by this international body in 2018 and which contains some guidelines on healthy homes, two of which stand out:
- Reduce the occurrence of diseases or safety problems associated with poor or unsafe living conditions.
- Improve the quality of water and air in the home and reduce pollution in the living environment (fumes, light and noise pollution, polluting particles derived from harmful construction materials, etc.)
Some of the guidelines set out in this report are useful for citizens, while others are useful for organizations, municipalities, legislative orders. etc. In any case, all of them help us define, precisely, what a healthy home is.
Housing and health: basic WHO recommendations
The WHO points out that a healthy home is one that has been designed, built, maintained and rehabilitated with the aim of improving the health of its occupants, taking into account the following criteria:
- Reduce overcrowding.
- Improve the insulation to achieve interior temperatures high enough to protect its inhabitants from the harmful effects of the cold. In temperate climates, it is recommended that this temperature be 18ºC. In colder climates, this insulation will need to be expanded or improved.
- Develop strategies to reduce excess heat inside the home, either with specific systems for this (air conditioning), or through natural ventilation systems.
- Have security elements that guarantee the health of the inhabitants of the house (smoke and fire alarms, fire extinguishers, protectors on windows and doors, safe electricity and gas installations, etc.)
- Promote actions to improve accessibility in all the facilities of the house with the aim of adapting them to people with functional disabilities.
Although these criteria may seem basic, in practice the conditions of some homes -especially those that are older- may pose a health risk due to structural defects, or due to the use of materials that, with the passage of time, time or exposed to heat, cold or the action of the air, can cause diseases.
The location and environment are also reasons why a home does not meet the health conditions set by the WHO.
How to make our home healthy?
In the construction of healthy homes, various factors are taken into account, including the type of materials used, the quality of the air that will be breathed inside the house, energy consumption, the well-being of people or the use of resources . The objective OF Sky Marketing, in all cases, is to seek better health and greater comfort for people.
Some tips to get a healthy home (either buying a house or building it) that we can all put into practice are:
Maintain proper temperature and relative humidity
Excessive cold or heat in the home is considered dangerous to health. The same goes for humidity. When the relative humidity levels in a home are too high or too low, we run the risk of developing respiratory diseases or asthma.
An environment with uncontrolled humidity also increases the presence of mites, and can lead to the appearance of insect pests such as cockroaches.
Take care of air quality and improve ventilation
Unhealthy air can cause respiratory and dermatological problems. Hence the importance of having good ventilation in the home.
The construction regulations (Technical Building Code) establish that adequate ventilation must be ensured in all rooms of a home in order to provide enough air from the outside while ensuring the extraction and expulsion of dirty or stale air.
Good ventilation reduces ambient humidity and improves air quality by eliminating volatile pollutants such as carbon monoxide, pesticides, etc. Ventilating the house daily, decorating with natural plants and placing humidifiers or air purifiers are simple actions that help keep the air in the house healthier.
Control noise and light pollution
The noise from the outside caused by car traffic, the transit of people and other urban elements can disturb our rest and negatively affect our health.
Pollution by combustion gases from engines or by lights from street furniture (street lamps, billboards, etc.) also worsens “the health” of our home.
A good sound insulation, good ventilation and the use of blinds or curtains are key to controlling noise and light pollution in our homes.
Maintain good lighting
Light influences our neurotransmitters and is essential in our day to day. The ideal is to opt for natural light, but many times it is inevitable to resort to artificial light sources.
The general advice is to opt for low consumption bulbs or white light LEDs without flickering. It is also important to control the level of lighting depending on the use of the different rooms in the house.
A high level of lighting is recommended in areas where we carry out detailed tasks (reading, studying, cooking, etc.), a medium level in relationship or leisure areas (for example in the dining room), a moderate level in storage areas or of rest (for example in the bedroom) and a low level in circulation areas (corridors or stairs).
Keep the house clean
Cleanliness is essential in a healthy home. Even so, it is important that we take into account what products we use, as some of them can cause harmful fumes.
Special care must be taken with alkaline cleaners (such as ammonia), acid cleaners (salfumán, nitric acid or phosphoric acid), surfactants and degreasers or disinfectants. Instead, we can opt for biodegradable and eco-friendly cleaning products manufactured for this purpose that are equally effective but without dangerous components.
Choose a clean and efficient HVAC system
Heating our home is essential to achieve a state of comfort. The ideal is to choose systems that adapt to our needs and that are respectful with the environment.
A healthy home will opt for systems that work with alternative and clean energies such as solar thermal or electrical energy, biomass, geothermal energy, aerothermal energy, … For example, natural gas heating is more ecological than electric heating, since it consumes a large amount of energy .
On the other hand, getting a good air conditioning is related to a good insulation of the house, and tight doors and windows that prevent the passage of air currents. If not, these items must be replaced with new ones.
In healthy homes the improvement of the insulation of the walls will be carried out with natural and non-polluting materials such as cork or mineral wool.
At Tajarat properties we are experts in real estate services and we know that the conditions of a house affect your comfort and your health. If you are looking for a healthy home in your city to settle with your family, contact us. We will help you find a beautiful, comfortable and healthy home for your loved ones.