Want to make your Northern VA home a healthy one during the coming cold and flu season? You can show winter illnesses the door by taking steps that keep your home as germ-free as possible. Conventional wisdom offers a lot of great advice for avoiding colds and flus: frequent hand washing, sanitizing light switches and knobs, getting a flu shot, and getting some rest when you’re not feeling well. If you’re involved in building a new custom home – or remodeling your existing one – there are some proactive things you can do with appliances, fixtures, and finishes that will protect your home and help keep your family healthier.
Germs and bacteria spread most easily through contact. One way technology is helping to change the world of plumbing is with automatic, touchless faucets that help eliminate the risk of contaminants through touch. There are many brands to choose from. The faucets are fitted with sensors that turn on with a tap of your finger, forearm or hand, helping to stop the spread of germs. Most touchless faucets are also considered “green,” as they help conserve water and have automatic shut-offs.
For a completely hands-free experience, pair your touchless faucets with touchless toilets. Whether you install a new toilet or convert your current one, touchless toilets are a great way to limit your family’s exposure to germs and bacteria. The toilets are fitted with smart flushing systems that require no touch of any surface to initiate flushing, with most working by waving your hand over a sensor.
Smarter appliances let you fight contaminants more quickly. Dishwashers that offer half-load cycles mean your dishes, glasses and silverware will always be spotless, and washing machines with steam technology offer a deep, sanitary clean. Most are quiet and energy efficient, as well. Modern technology can also help you disinfect your home through powerful cleaning. The Public Health and Safety Organization, NSF, offers a list of household appliances, including dryers, dishwashers, and washing machines, that have been certified to be germ-fighting.
Don’t overlook the power of a healthy lifestyle to fight off germs. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, drink lots of fluids, exercise, and manage stress to keep your immune system healthy and your family well. In the kitchen, use nonporous materials for your countertops. Bacteria and viruses can live about twenty minutes on fabrics, but survive for a couple of days on the countertop or other surfaces. Quartz is a popular choice as cleanup is easy, preventing the growth of surface mold and bacteria. Other ways to incorporate healthy choices:
- Consider adding a home gym. Exercise is a proven way to build up your body’s germ-fighting systems.
- Instead of packing up and heading for the spa, install a soaking tub and/or steam shower. They both ease body aches and pains, help sweat away the cold, and keep your nasal passages clear. Along with the health benefits you’ll enjoy, steam showers are also a cost-saving option, as there’s no waiting for a sauna to heat up or a tub to fill.
- Heated floors fight off the winter chills Northern VA is famous for. New floor heating solutions are designed for tile, stone, and other floor coverings and offer enhanced comfort and efficiency. Underfloor heating is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, and entries, as well as basements and garages. There are even products that heat outdoor surfaces like sidewalks and driveways – no more back-breaking shoveling!
- Add an on-demand hot water dispenser for a quick mug of soup or tea.
Healthy Home, Happy Home
There’s nothing worse than the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and aching misery of a cold or flu. Use these tips to get ready before either strike you or your family. At Foley, we love designing and remodeling homes with a healthy lifestyle in mind. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you protect your family during cold and flu season. We also invite you to download our free guide, Top 10 Reasons to Choose Foley to learn more about who we are and what we offer.