Healthy Home Checklist
The following checklist can help make your home healthier and save money
Making your home healthier and more sustainable is an ongoing project. Start by developing a realistic schedule with target dates for each item below to be completed. Some items are easier to accomplish and others might need a budget, some research, and help from a few sub-contractors. Remember for installing new finishes such as paint or refinishing of existing wood floors, the warm weather is the best time of the year for these improvements. You always should have good ventilation for offgassing of all new materials even if they are low or no VOCs materials. All materials offgass. Allow low or no VOC materials a couple days for offgassing in a well-vented room before using the room.
1. Improve Energy Usage
Have a professional Energy Audit performed.
Purchase Energy Star rated appliances.
Make use of natural daylighting as much as possible.
Replace incandescent lighting with LED or fluorescent.
Use timers to make efficient use of heating, cooling, and lighting systems.
2. Decrease Water Usage
Install low-water-use kitchen faucets
Replace toilets with high-efficiency toilets.
Install low-water-use faucets and showerheads
3. Indoor Air Quality
Use window treatments to help control the amount of heat gain or loss through windows.
Use low or no-VOC water-based paints and natural wall finishes.
Use solid woods, when possible for cabinetry and furniture, instead of pressed woods and composites that may contain formaldehyde and toxic chemicals.
Use natural area rugs, not inexpensive wall-to-wall carpeting that offgas toxic fumes for many years and end up in the landfills.
4. Materials and Resources
Reuse or repurpose existing elements, furniture and furnishings or purchase salvaged/antiques.
Use FSC-certified and reclaimed woods.
Use flooring products made from natural or rapidly renewable materials, for example bamboo or linoleum.
Use environmentally preferable area rugs, window treatments, and textiles made from natural and organic materials.
Use natural wall coverings with water-based inks, recycled or FSC certified paper, rapidly renewable materials such as grasscloth and bamboo, and vintage papers produced before vinyl.
Consider the “lifecycle” of furniture, furnishings and accessories before purchasing.
Purchase new furniture and furnishings that are made with sustainable materials and little or no toxic finishes.
Purchase materials from regional manufactures.
Provide for storage and processing of recyclables.
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Lynn Hoffman, IIDA, RID, LEED® - AP ID+C, is a Sustainable Interior Designer with more than 25 years experience working nationally and internationally producing Corporate, Hospitality and Prestigious Residential projects for Fortune 500 and celebrity clients, architects and builders. Her office is located in downtown Stamford, CT and offers a full range of services dedicated to elevating eco-conscious designs to new levels of luxury and sophistication.
One Stamford Plaza
263 Tresser Boulevard, 9th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901
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Photograph: Melani Lust Photography