Healthy Home Sanctuary

How to create a dedicated healthy space in the home

June 15, 2018

This homeowner incorporated exercse into her room, with the exposed concrete sealed to prevent off-gasing.

Air pollution kills 2 million people every year, according to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Research Letters. We see one story after another warning that our cell phones are poisoning us. Those two instances alone are enough to make you want to hole up in a plastic bubble. But what can we really do to get some relief?

This is where a healthy home sanctuary comes in. When we say “healthy,” we mean free of as many chemicals, environmental pollutants, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as possible. And this desire cuts across generational lines. I’ve consulted with a lot of consumers who specifically mention their need for a dedicated healthy space in their home, and I can tell you that the interest isn’t confined to younger generations. 

As long as there’s an extra room in the house, building a healthy home sanctuary is possible. Homeowners can use it for whatever they like—yoga, meditation, escaping the kids for twenty minutes; the benefits will be the same. We’re hit with noises and pollutants all day long, and this room gives you a break and a place to reset.

Here are five key areas to focus on when creating a healthy home sanctuary for homeowners.

Walls & Floors

EMFs result from the transmission of electricity, whether from appliances, electrical systems, or our smart devices. Society obviously benefits from electricity, but research is still being conducted to determine the long-term effects of EMF exposure.

Start by opening up the walls and replacing the existing insulation with a nontoxic, sound-deadening option. Over that, staple an EMF-shielding mesh to the studs and cover with drywall. Use nontoxic primer and paint, such as AFM Safecoat, to finish the job.

Then, remove the floors and lay down the EMF-shielding mesh, to block EMFs from below. Float a cork flooring (nontoxic, of course) over the mesh to finish. Unlike carpet, cork doesn’t collect pollutants that may be tracked in by the homeowner. It also significantly dampens sound and holds warmth, unlike hard flooring.

Doors & Windows

No need to replace doors and windows. Simply buy EMF-shielding paint to coat the backside of the door. Alternatively, you could purchase a metal door, but opting for paint keeps the budget down, the aesthetic intact, and the outcome the same.

For the windows, place an EMF-shielding film on the inside glass, and install a blackout shade.

Infrared Sauna

This sounds like a luxury, but since there are models for under $200, we always recommend that homeowners equip their sanctuary with an infrared sauna. 

It’s particularly important for those with chemical sensitivities to use one to rid their bodies of the pollutants they encounter, but the rest of us can benefit from the filtering capabilities of the sauna as well. You flush the coolant system in your car to prevent damage; doesn’t your body deserve the same courtesy?

When I started talking to clients about creating these healthy sanctuaries, it was clear that this is a growing area of concern and an opportunity. 

No matter the size or complexity of the homeowner’s choice, most saunas come ready to assemble, and any carpenter can easily set it up.

Air quality

Purified air is key. You have two options for this: install a purification system onto the home’s HVAC system, or put a free-standing air filter in the room (I recommend the Austin Air Allergy Machine). I prefer to use a Solace Air RS-4 for the whole house to address three main pollutants: particles, gases, and microbes. 

Electricity 

Outlets and light switches are main sources of EMFs, so rid the room of all but one electrical outlet and one switch. This way, the homeowner can still have ambient light and the option to plug in an air filter or infrared sauna (or both), while limiting the amount of EMFs entering the healthy sanctuary. Replace the outlet and switch plate with shielded versions.

If you aren’t sold on healthy home sanctuaries yet, that’s okay. But when I started talking to clients about this option, it was clear that this is a growing area of concern and an opportunity to create the healthy spaces homeowners want and need. And once they start with one room, it quickly becomes, “What do I do next to keep this up in the rest of the house?”

About the Author


About the Author


Andrew Pace founded the Green Design Center, a product marketplace and design consultation firm focused on green, healthy, and sustainable home building products. 

Comments

Comments

hi, appreciate the article, but i am not aware of any shielding mesh that blocks the fields creating by electric wires. i thought the mesh only worked with the frequencies like cell and wifi. it's all pretty hard to understand, but please clarify this. if there is such a product, i want to know what it is. it is critical to me, in fact. thanks so much

Thanks for the note about the shielding mesh. I'll admit, this article was probably about 3000 words too short, as teh topic of EMF's alone requires so much conversation. Typically, the EMF's generated from home wiring would be mitigated FAR better by using wiring techniques designed to do just that. There are so many details about EMF's that we just didnt have the space to talk about here. What I recommend is that you get in touch with my friend Rob Metzinger at Safer Living (www.slt.co) and give him this code for a 5% discount (DOGSLT5) and he'll give you all the help you need for your particular situation. Thank you!!

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