There is a well-documented link between a stable home and a family’s overall health. With people spending nearly two-thirds of their lives at home, it’s important to know the power that home environments can have as tools for human health, wellness and safety. From solutions that improve comfort and indoor air quality, to safety products that help save lives, having greater awareness and control of your home’s health may help improve the overall health of everyone inside.
Through National Healthy Homes Month in June, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development seeks to increase awareness of the critical need for healthier and safer housing. More than 17 million people in the U.S. do not have access to the stability that a home provides. In fact, one in seven households continue to spend more than half of their income on housing costs, leaving little left to pay for necessities.
There is not a single answer that addresses the affordable housing crisis and its impact on healthy homes. However, there are organizations and companies around the world working together to address these issues in several areas. During National Healthy Homes Month, Habitat for Humanity International and Carrier, are focused on improving access to healthy, safe and affordable homes across the U.S.
For more than 40 years, Habitat has worked alongside families to lower barriers to homeownership. When a family has a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home, it frees them from the economic burden of choosing between paying for housing and paying for necessities. Carrier has long shared in Habitat’s belief that healthy, safe and affordable homes should be accessible to all. Throughout this month, Carrier is joining Habitat’s efforts to ensure more families have access to a healthy home.
Carrier not only committed critical funds and product donations to local Habitat for Humanity affiliates to support healthy homes in their local communities, but its employees volunteered at locations across the country, including Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina. Proving that collaborations like this can create meaningful change in the lives of families, Habitat and Carrier’s example shows that these relationships are critical to addressing societal challenges.
Currently, there are more than 6 million substandard housing units in the U.S. While not every home will receive this direct support, there are steps homeowners and renters can take to improve the health of their home, which in turn, may improve the health of their family.
- The air quality in your home has a direct impact on your health. An air purifier can help eliminate irritants, such as pollen, smoke and other allergens.
- Check to ensure your home is properly sealed, especially around windows and doors. Gaps in sealing can allow moisture to enter the home, leading to dampness and mold, triggering asthma and other respiratory challenges.
- Install smoke detectors and test them monthly. This small intervention can be lifesaving for your family.
- Schedule to have your HVAC units and air ducts inspected and cleaned every year. Doing so can ensure your units are working properly and create a healthier breathing environment.
- Where possible, implement energy-efficient upgrades that will be less costly over their lifetime.
Home is our place of safety and comfort. As National Healthy Homes Month comes to a close, we are reminded that a healthy, safe and affordable home can be made accessible for all and make all the difference in the life of a family.
Presented in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International