Creating a Healthier Home

• Add Some Color. Changing wall color is one of the easiest ways to make an impact on a room. Schomer recommends using paints with low or no volatile organic compounds to help reduce potentially harmful gases, especially in rooms frequented by children or the elderly. If you decide to use wall coverings, look for wallpaper material that is permeable. Avoid vinyl wall coverings, which can trap condensation inside walls, resulting in mold and water damage.

• Watch Where You Walk. Since carpet collects dust, people with allergies may want to install tile or wood floors. However, if you do purchase new wall-to-wall carpeting, be sure the installer airs out the carpet rolls for at least 24 hours before installation to decrease the amount of potentially toxic vapors that some new carpets can emit. You may also want to leave your windows open for a day or two after the carpeting is installed to ventilate the area if you don’t have an indoor air purification system.

• Keep It Simple. Keep window treatments simple and appropriate for the room. For example, you may want to choose an elaborate swag for a formal living room, but not for a casual family room. In addition, consider installing window coverings to help prevent hot and cold spots inside the home and provide better insulation in the winter and summer months. Certain manufacturers even offer coverings with film that can reduce UV ray exposure.

• Tackle the Toxins. Pollutants inside the home, such as pet dander, smoke, mold and dust, can affect your health, comfort and safety. To identify potential air-quality issues, Schomer recommends having the air inside your home tested. For example, the Lennox Healthy Advantage Program is a simple, cost-effective air quality monitoring service that measures the most common indoor air quality factors – temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide, odors, chemical vapors and airborne particles – and helps homeowners identify solutions for clearing the air.

For more information about how to improve home comfort and to enter the Lennox Home Comfort Makeover Contest, visit

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