When a homeowner plans to do a renovation, they do so because they want it to benefit them. Either in terms of being more comfortable, being more healthy, having more space, having a home that’s upgraded or because they want to sell the home soon. No matter what reason you are doing your renovation for, it should be mentioned that adding on “healthy” features, products and additions into the home can do all of the above mentioned things. You might not have any ideas on how to make your home healthier, so here are a few for you to consider putting on your list!
Formaldehyde Free Cabinets
A lot of the cabinets these days have formaldehyde in them. Crazy right? More specifically, cabinets are made from particle board which can be a really cheap material and can break easily. So manufacturers cover those particle boards with a thin wood or a veneer and then the adhesives used on these cabinets are made from formaldehyde. It’s surprising how many people don’t know this and the fact that this nasty little ingredient can cause asthmatic symptoms and allergies. In order to avoid this situation you can consider looking at bamboo cabinets or if your budget is tight, consider looking at cabinets that are specifically formaldehyde free.
Chemical Free Counter Tops
The old laminate counters from the 70s were made much different from how they are made today. If you have old counters from way back when, rip them out and put down a much cleaner chemical free material like stainless steel, granite or marble – or another natural stone. Some counters can contain chemicals which can be irritating to people with respiratory disorders. You should also make sure that your counters and cabinets both have a zero VOC cleaner, sealer, paint, varnish or stain. Some of these zero VOC cleaners and sealers are so organic and clean that you don’t even need protective gear when you put it on – or when the manufacturer puts it on. You can also think about picking other “natural” materials like glass and concrete. Concrete is really trendy right now!
Add A Proper Exhaust Fan
An exhaust fans job is to remove “dirty” air from the house or specifically the kitchen. By dirty air, that means cooking smells, oil, smoke, etc. If not, not only is this against the law to not have one of some sort but on top of that these exhaust fans suck up all that stuff that can be unhealthy and dangerous for kids with asthma and allergies. Also, adults, not just kids. Make sure that when you are looking at fans you get one that is big enough for your space, and that it’s installed properly in terms of height, above the stove.
Get A Quality Fridge With A Proper Thermometer
In the older fridges, there are no proper thermometers. Just that click switch thing you have to guess where you are pointing it, you could add a thermometer but then you have to take all kinds of steps to make sure even the thermometer is gauged properly. These days, a lot of fridges come with a thermometer built right into the fridge. These can keep you healthy because they allow you to see what cold spots or warm spots you have in the fridge and then you can make sure that cold foods are cold and ice-cold foods are ice-cold – and that the entire fridge is, in fact, cold. Cold foods should be kept at 39° Fahrenheit. Below and they freeze, above and they could spoil. Spoiling can lead to a bacterium, illnesses, food poisoning, etc. Definitely not worth it.
Create Cooking/Prep Work Zones
The best way to stay safe while cooking or prepping food is to use bleach on your cutting surfaces diluted with water. But, if you don’t want to do this and you still want to keep work areas uncontaminated, this might mean you will have to make different zones up specifically for prepping and cutting. Any cook knows that if you cut chicken and then cut veggies on that same spot, you just contaminated your veggies. And there’s no way around this – unless you thoroughly clean the area and even then, there’s always a chance. So why not create different work zones? You can make a zone for cutting meat and chicken, veggies and fruits, etc. It’s also a good idea to make these work areas up with certain materials. For your raw meat section, consider stainless steel – its nonporous, so you don’t have any grains or crevices that the bacteria can get into. This is one of the reasons why restaurant kitchens have so much stainless steel in the kitchens! It’s a safe material to work with. For veggies and fruits, consider wood.
With some practical planning ahead of time for your family, you can have the kitchen of your dreams that will keep you and your entire family happy and healthy!