DIY fixes to create a healthier home
Monday, December 24, 2012
You might not be aware that your home may pose some hidden risks for you and your family. But you don’t need a fat budget to give your home a safer and healthier boost. After all, there is nothing more important than keeping your family safe.
Hazards may be lurking in your home, but for $100 or less, you can take the precautions needed to protect your family from common household dangers. Danny Lipford, home improvement expert and host of the nationally syndicated show “Today’s Homeowner,” recommends these budget-friendly do-it-yourself projects for a safer and healthier home:
• Mount smoke detectors: There should be a smoke detector on each floor and in or near every bedroom in the home. Installing them is as simple as mounting them 4 inches from the wall on the ceiling. Smoke rises, so opt to place the detector at the highest point of the ceiling if you have an angled ceiling.
Estimated cost: $30
• Install a water filter: If you’re concerned about lead, volatile organic compounds, microbial cysts and pharmaceuticals in your tap water, or even if you just don’t like the taste or smell of it, install a DIY water filtration system. A high performance drinking water system that comes with a dedicated faucet will provide your family with cleaner, better tasting water.
Estimated cost: $100
• Secure heavy furniture and appliances: Children are susceptible to bookshelves, televisions or other furniture falling over and causing harm. Use brackets or straps to secure dressers, the stove and audio equipment to the wall to ensure passersby are safe from falling items.
Estimated cost: $10 or more, depending on number needed
• Install carbon monoxide alarms: Carbon monoxide — an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas — is a result of improperly vented or defective home systems such as heaters, furnaces and fireplaces. Carbon monoxide does not rise to the ceiling like smoke, so the alarms can be mounted anywhere, such as plugged into wall outlets or affixed to walls and powered by batteries.
Estimated cost: $50
• Install a bathroom vent fan: Poor ventilation in the bathroom can lead to a buildup of excess moisture, which is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Install a bathroom vent fan to push the moist air outside the home to avoid creating unhealthy conditions in the room, as well as fogged-up windows, steamy mirrors and eventually ruined walls and ceilings.
Estimated cost: $100
Making a few minor updates can add to your comfort and save big in the long run.