When you think of improving your home, your personal health may not come to mind. But, if you are looking for ways to improve your health and you are in the process of making some changes in your home, there are some tips that may help you kill two birds with one stone.

Use Home Improvement Products Free of or Low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)

There are a host of potentially harmful chemicals all around us; some are manmade while some occur naturally. Unless we place ourselves in a protective bubble, we cannot possibly block them all out. But, we do have some control in the form of our product choices. Particularly troublesome are volatile organic compounds or VOCs—gases that are emitted from a host of things we come into contact with in our everyday life. They are particularly concentrated in many products used in the home improvement arena, such as paint, floor strippers, wood preservatives, varnishes and sealing caulks. There has been a push to reduce VOCs and products with reduced amounts are usually clearly labeled as such.

Environmentally Friendly Flooring that Is Good for Your Health Too

The type of flooring you choose is often a major home improvement decision as it is not the type of thing you tend to replace frequently, such as a throw pillow, paintings or knick knacks for the coffee table. If you suffer from allergies or other respiratory conditions, the type of flooring you install may make an impact on your symptoms.

One of the best types of flooring is cork—not only is it environmentally friendly, it is highly resistant to water penetration, which reduces mold and mildew build up. Cork naturally contains a substance that inhibits the growth of bacteria and other allergens. Bamboo flooring is also an environmentally friendly choice whose surface is highly resistant to allergens.

Purchase Organic Furniture

When you think of the word ‘’organic’’, you typically think of food and body care products. But, there are many other types of products that are considered ‘’organic’’ because they are produced naturally without the use of chemicals, pesticides or other potentially harmful substances and materials. Conventionally produced furniture may negatively impact your health in several ways; in order for manufacturers to keep it preserved while it may be sitting in a warehouse or store for a long time, they often use pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and other chemical-laden substances to preserve the pieces. Constantly breathing them in and coming into contact may cause problems such as breathing difficulties and skin conditions.

Organic furniture can eliminate this problem; you can typically find organic woods, mattresses and upholstered pieces, such as sofas and chairs. These pieces may be more expensive than conventional furniture but they typically higher quality, which means they will last longer, allowing for savings over the long run.

Use Decorative Plants that Also Improve Air Quality

Putting some beautiful plants around your house is a great way to spruce things up and improves your health in the process. The quality of the air indoors can often be worse than outside and picking the right plants can help rectify that. A two-year study by NASA found that certain plants were particularly efficient at absorbing harmful substances from the air, thus improving indoor air quality. They include English ivy, spider plant, golden pothos, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, bamboo or reed palm, snake plant, heartleaf philodendron, selloum philodendron, elephant ear philodendron, red-edged dracaena, cornstalk dracaena, Janet Craig dracaena, Warneck dracaena and the weeping fig.

If you are interested in learning more about home improvement ideas and checking out some great products, visit Agee Woodworks.