(BPT) — Remodeling a home's decor leaves the space feeling fresh and new - something which all family members will enjoy for years to come. However, a home remodel can do more than just improve the looks of rooms in the house. It can also improve the indoor air quality - an important factor especially during the winter months when homes are sealed up tight against the cold outdoor air.
Carpeting, paint and even the materials used in your shower might contain harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Studies have found the level of VOCs inside homes can be two to five times higher than the level outside, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Some people may experience negative reactions to breathing in these compounds, depending on their health condition, as well as the levels and duration they're exposed to the chemicals.
New technology has helped home improvement companies create products that don't contain VOCs, so as you plan your remodeling project, be sure to look for these products to help keep the air in your home cleaner.
• The walls — A fresh coat of paint is the first element when planning a room design. Choosing the perfect color and knowing if a primer coat is needed are just two decisions that need to be made when picking a brand. But also know that many paint companies are now producing VOC-free paints, which can help improve the air quality in the room.
• The bathroom — Usually one of the smallest rooms in the home, it's more important to make certain the airspace has good quality. If you're ready to upgrade your shower space, save yourself time and energy with the new Ensemble Medley bath/shower from Sterling. The unit is made of modular panels that are lightweight and interlock securely using tongue and groove joints that click into place.
Sterling products are made of Vikrell, which carries Greengaurd Cold Certification and contributes to better indoor air quality. In addition to not emitting chemicals into the air, Vikrell also is durable and won't chip or fade. GREENGUARD GOLD Certification is a part of Underwriters Laboratories Environment.
• The kitchen — You may never have thought your kitchen cabinets have the potential to pollute the air inside your home. But if they are made from a plastic-based material, or painted or varnished, there's a chance the cabinets are producing VOCs. Wood cabinets look great in kitchens, and as you choose the perfect cabinets to replace your older cabinets, be sure to research the manufacturer to see if they use any staining or varnish products that produce VOCs. Or consider painting your new cabinets using the paint brand you researched earlier when choosing paint for the walls.
When your home remodel is complete, sit back and enjoy the new look. And take a deep breath of air, knowing you've helped to reduce some of the contamination with careful research about the features you added to your home.