It might seem strange, but most Americans spend a plurality of their lives in their bedroom. With so much time in one room, it makes sense to expect this room to be one of the cleanest and healthiest rooms in the house. However, this is largely not the case. The time you lay asleep in your bed should be spent recharging your batteries and preparing you for the hardships of the day to come. You should gain a sense of well being from your home, and not dread. It is a place for quiet relaxation, and a break from the daily demands of life.
Before starting your Bedroom Remodeling Project, make sure you consider the desired function of the room, the existing conditions that one will have to deal with, the scope of the project, the size of the room, and the layout and space planning. Here it is in a little more depth:
As the bedroom is the room in the house in which we spend most of our time, it may be a good idea to consider health factors above all else when renovating a bedroom. However, that does not have to be the only reason to make a change in the bedroom. Some upgrades can be made to create more space, replace old and out-of-date furniture, or just to make it look nicer. However, all of these things can be done in a sustainable fashion, all while improving the air quality in the room.
Consider the problems you are facing before you take on a change of this nature. Some of the air quality problems in your bedroom may come from mold or moisture buildup in an adjacent bathroom, but the mold could originate in crawl spaces or other areas of the house that are vulnerable to leakage.
There are a lot of things that could be in your bedroom that are depositing chemicals into the air while you sleep. These include flame retardants, heavy metals, and biocides that are used in the production of some homes. Paints could also cause some nastiness, as paints with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) will cause a rise in the bad chemicals we breathe in. One should never use VOC paints in the home, or anywhere else for that matter, but they especially should be barred from the bedroom. Lastly, consider whether the window system needs to be replaced in order to let fresh air in easily and on demand.
When improving a room in the house, think about other changes that can be made in conjunction to really pack an efficient punch. For instance, if you decide that new windows will help take in more fresh air, consider upgrading all your windows to minimize heat loss in the winter, and heat gain in the summer.
One might assume that they need a bigger bedroom, or home altogether as a result of the gathering of various “stuffs” over the course of a lifetime. This is the wrong way to think about it. Instead of expanding your home with your possessions, try to reduce the number of useless things you own by donating them to charities, or simply throwing them away. Clothing, shoes and toys can easily be donated to families in great need of assistance. And with less clutter, you can be sure that your air quality is improving.
The information found in this article has been provided by the ReGreen Program, which is the result of the American Society of Interior Designers’ Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council partnering on the development of best practice guidelines and targeted educational resources for sustainable residential improvement projects. This program will increase understanding of sustainable renovation project practices and benefits among homeowners, residents, design professionals, product suppliers and service providers to build both demand and industry capacity. Learn more at ReGreenProgram.org.
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For a better idea of which improvements to your home will save you the most money the fastest, take a look at GREENandSAVE’s Return on Investment Table for your next Home Remodeling project. Or, consider taking a career in the rapidly expanding Green Industry with the EcoAcademy, which is training people across the country for Green Collar Jobs.