by Katie Pace, Executive Director at Rebuilding Together Northern Nevada

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve taken a great interest in our physical and mental health. We’re more likely to wash our hands several times daily and eat healthier. We’ve invested in online therapy and life coaching. Perhaps even learned a new skill set or language online. We’ve done plenty of self-reflecting, self-improvement and taken strides to be healthier since the pandemic began.

While self-care is essential to everyone, Americans can spend up to two-thirds of their time at home. We must not neglect the importance of a safe and healthy home. Your home may not be able to get a physical or sit down with a therapist, but if you pay close attention, your home will tell you if it’s healthy or needs some repairs.

Saving energy is essential when planning home repairs. With summer comes the roaring heat of June. Each June, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) celebrates National Healthy Home Month, and Rebuilding Together Northern Nevada recently had the opportunity to check the home vitals of our neighbor Mary here in Reno. We were able to repair Mary’s ceiling fan and her sliding glass door to help ensure her home is well ventilated and thermally controlled. By moving air, ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect in which the air feels cooler to the skin than the actual temperature. Along with improving airflow in Mary’s home, we wanted to make it safer to avoid slips and falls, so we also installed grab bars in her bathroom.

This month, you can inspect your home to ensure the house is free from water leaks. Rainwater often enters through leaks in your roofing system and poor drainage away from the foundation. Check your interior plumbing for leaks, as mold and moisture increase allergens and could result in respiratory illness in older adults and young children.

One of the most cost-effective ways to ensure a healthy home is simply by keeping it clean. Keeping your home clean helps reduce pest infestations. Lastly, using wet-cleaning methods helps control dust and contaminant sources and aid in your home’s overall health.

As you’ve become more aware of your physical health, keep an eye on the health of your home as well. A healthy home lowers stress levels and contributes to a positive outlook on life.