There are numerous articles and blog posts devoted to determining which home improvements will provide the best financial return on investment. But there’s another way to look at the ROI debate: Which home improvements have the greatest potential to improve your personal well-being? The five facets of wellness design are as follows: health and fitness, safety and security, accessibility, functionality, and comfort and joy. Given the growing importance of wellness to homebuyers, they may also increase the salability of your home when you decide to sell it.
The topic of wellness technology, which includes air and water quality, tunable lighting, and acoustic comfort, is gaining popularity. “The pandemic heightened interest,” says Josh Christian, CEO of the Home Technology Association trade organization. Covid emphasized the importance of clean indoor air. Wildfires add to the urgency, with smoke and ash infiltrating nearby homes, and pollution is a persistent problem in some areas.
“In-room portable air purifiers have exploded in popularity,” Christian says, adding that “many homeowners aren’t aware that their entire home can have pure air with specialized air filtration systems,” which can be installed by home technology integrators. “A good system can improve people’s safety in their homes.”
This is a difficult topic to address because many products provide both wellness benefits such as softness underfoot, flame retardants, and antimicrobial protection while also introducing chemicals that can be harmful to our bodies. “The chemicals that help make a product flexible, light, and sturdy have major side effects on our health, including cancers, decreased fertility in both men and women, and other hormonally related health issues, thyroid disease, and elevated cholesterol,” warns Alison Mears, director of Parsons University’s Healthy Materials Lab.
Danielson cites appliances as one category where technology has always been a hot topic, with a recent emphasis on wellness. “From steam ovens that allow homeowners to easily prepare healthy meals to high-capacity, sanitizing dishwashers with settings to eliminate 99.999% of food soil bacteria by adding a high-heat final rinse to sanitize dishes, appliance technology is evolving.”
She also mentions a new category: indoor plant growers. “Homeowners’ imaginations have been captured by herb growing cabinets,” the retailer observes. “Imagine making a salad with farm-fresh micro greens or cooking a meal and having fresh herbs right in the kitchen.” All organic greens provide superior flavor and nutrition.”
Danielson also mentions the clothing refresher, which adds convenience for time-pressed homeowners. She mentions that these allow homeowners to care for delicates without using harsh chemicals commonly used in dry cleaning. They can also sanitize bedding between guests and children’s stuffed animals in a safe manner.
Fixtures and Faucets
Home fixtures and faucets are now a great way to improve your overall well-being,” Danielson says, pointing to the latest in water filtration systems and steam showers. The former will help to ensure that the household drinks clean water on a daily basis. “These systems can reduce smells and tastes that make your drinking water less desirable, in addition to filtering out contaminants like lead or chlorine,” she says.
“Steam showers allow users to unwind while reaping the benefits of aromatherapy.” “Warm steam helps open airways and reduces muscle soreness, which is especially beneficial for those with respiratory conditions or muscle tension,” Danielson says.
“The wetroom is seeing a surge in demand due to its frameless, zero entry design concept that creates an open and spacious atmosphere,” says the Ferguson executive. These spaces, which place a tub within an oversized shower enclosure, provide aesthetic appeal and greater accessibility, but their “increased popularity is largely due to their ability to keep germs from hiding in hard-to-reach places and allows for easy maintenance and cleaning.”
Lighting has undoubtedly been affected by the pandemic. “Homeowners clean the air with a ceiling fan that cools and circulates the air while killing 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2 (causes COVID-19) and other airborne pathogens while safely neutralizing allergens, odors, and fumes,” Danielson says.
“By effectively removing moisture and odors with a lighted exhaust fan, homeowners can prevent mold, bacteria, and fungi growth on surfaces in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or other humidity-prone environments,” she says.
Preset dimmers, according to Danielson, are a great new lighting option for wellness because they “make it easy to adjust your lighting levels depending on the time of day and can be set to ensure you have enough light without causing eye strain or discomfort.” This is especially important for older adults in terms of safety and comfort. “This age-friendly feature eliminates the need to strain your eyes when looking for something in the dark or dealing with overly bright lights when going outside at night.”
Circadian lighting, also known as tunable lighting or human centric lighting, is another method for improving wellness in this category. Many more manufacturers are now offering these solutions, and the category has grown dramatically in the last four years, according to HTA’s Christian. This has resulted in lower prices and greater availability, but he warns that you get what you pay for when it comes to this technology.
Outdoor dark sky lighting is another new innovation that benefits both your household and the environment. According to Danielson, it reduces blue light emitted by LED bulbs, which has been linked to sleep disruption in some people.
Another great innovation that is frequently used in primary bathrooms is chromotherapy. “This type of lighting employs specific colors to promote relaxation and healing.”
Wellness Tips from the Pros
“It’s important to visit reputable showrooms and work with a designer or contractor you trust when looking to upgrade your home in a way that promotes health and wellness,” Danielson advises. “There are wellness and universal design certifications.” A certified universal design professional, for example, will assist homeowners in creating an environment that prioritizes comfort and safety for people of all ages and abilities. Homeowners can inquire about the designer’s certification and see if their specialty matches their wellness goals.”
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