There’s no place like home, especially after you’ve made a few choice improvements to it. That bathroom and kitchen remodel you just did cost a shocking $50,000. But at the end of the day, you will still have to clean the bathroom and wash the dishes. It is not that such remodels do not improve the enjoyment of your home. But increasing enjoyment is easy. Improving the quality of your life is another thing entirely.
So before you install that pool you’ve always wanted, or the grand gazebo with the wet bar, consider a few home improvements of a different variety. Quality of life is a difficult category to quantify. It has to do with health and well-being. It also has to do with how you benefit or detract from the world around you. This is not about adding the perfect lamp to a space. For these improvements, you have to think bigger, longer term, and in more holistic terms.
Here are three to get you started:
1. Water Filtration
What constitutes clean water is relative. For some people, water is clean when it tastes good to drink. For others, clean is more about removing impurities. But truly clean water is a combination of both and more. Clean water also goes hand in hand with soft water. That would be water without all the hard mineral deposits.
People often address water one issue at a time. They put a filter on the kitchen sink, or purchase a filtered pitcher. They may even buy a special, filtered shower head. None of that does anything for laundry and the water you use to brush your teeth. For a more holistic approach, what’s needed is a whole house water filter and water softener. From such a system, you want more than water that tastes good. You want to look for the following features:
- Soft water that is neither slippery or full of brine
- Clean water from every spigot, including the outside faucets
- Maintenance-free, waste-free softening system with no scale build-up
This type of solution is a major upgrade, and should never be taken lightly. It is the type of thing you will want to build into the home from the beginning if at all possible. Because that way you get to start with clean pipes. A whole house filtration system is not just a home improvement; it is a quality of life improvement.
2. Clearing the Air
Let’s clear the air: water is not the only thing that needs to be filtered in the home. If you have allergies, your quality of life is severely diminished. Your breathing problems are only intensified if there is a beloved pet in the house. Somniferous histamine blockers are not the answer if the question is, “how do I enjoy life without wading through a semi-drugged haze?”
If you don’t want to have to put your hiking boots on for a trip to the countryside every time you need fresh air, you’re in luck. Just as there are whole-house water purification systems, there are whole-house air purification systems. Unfortunately, the state of the art for air filtration is not quite as advanced as it is in water filtration. Consumer Reports had this to say:
…Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other types of gaseous pollutants, however, are another matter. Some portable models with carbon pre-filters are claimed to filter VOCs, known respiratory irritants that arise from adhesives, paints, and cleaning products. But the Environmental Protection Agency warns that such filters are specific to certain gaseous pollutants, not for others, and that no air purifiers are expected to remove all gaseous pollutants found in the typical home.
This does not mean that air filtration is not possible. It just means that you will have to be even more diligent about finding the right combination of solutions to ensure that everyone in your family can breathe a little easier.
3. Clean Power
Have you ever wanted to get off the grid? It is still a little early for that to be practical for the masses. But you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint right now by making the move to cleaner energy sources. Even if you do not power your entire home with alternative energy sources, you can use solar panels strategically to heat your water. Biofuel and wind power are also options.
Whether it is water, air, or energy, there is something about making it cleaner that not only improves your home, but your quality of life.