Aging in place has become more talked about in recent years. News segments focus on how to keep a home safe while aging in place such as a walk-in shower, grab bars at the entrance and exits of the home, and many more. What those news segments don’t focus on is the importance of comforts such as an even temperature throughout your home or good indoor air quality for fewer trips to the doctor. In this article, we will explore why these items are important to consider for the comfort of yourself or a loved one while aging in place.
Even Temperature Throughout the Home
As we age, our body temperature changes for a variety of reasons. The decrease in body temperature can make an uneven temperature throughout your home more uncomfortable as we age. Uneven temperatures in your home can be occurring for a variety of reasons. Due to this, we recommend first starting with an energy audit. The audit will help you get to the root cause of the temperature discrepancies to then create a plan to fix the potential issues. Some potential reasons behind uneven temperature that can lead to discomfort include:
- Poor insulation
- Window and door drafts
- Old HVAC system
A poorly insulated home can be a contributing factor to an uneven temperature throughout a home. Warm or cold air your HVAC system is creating can easily escape the home, especially from the attic, if it is not properly insulated and air sealed. The lifespan of insulation varies depending on the material. If it has not been replaced in the last 15 years, it would be worth getting an energy audit to see how effective it is.
Cold floors can also be uncomfortable for those choosing to age in place. A lack of insulation in basement rim joists is not uncommon, especially for older homes. Adding insulation to your home’s rim joists can help keep your home’s floors comfortable to walk on year-round.
Air Entering and Exiting at Doors and Windows
If you notice that the area around your windows and doors is extra hot in the summer or cold in the winter, your home could be more comfortable weatherizing and sealing the areas. If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, cold or warm air from outside can enter your home and the air your HVAC system is working hard to create can easily escape.
Replace HVAC System
If you have a poorly insulated home and have air escaping from windows and doors, your HVAC system could potentially be working overtime to try and achieve an even temperature in the home. If your HVAC system is struggling to keep your home at your desired temperature, its lifespan has likely decreased. The last thing you want for yourself or a loved one is to be without an air conditioner or furnace on extreme weather days.
Replacing your HVAC system can also be an opportunity to get newer energy efficient models. An energy efficient model can help lower your home’s carbon emissions, which has become increasingly important to those over the age of 65.
Focus on Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality has become a topic of discussion as many have spent more time in their homes in the last two years. It is especially important for those over the age of 65. According to a recent study, as people age, they are more vulnerable to health issues due to poor indoor air quality. Our bodies don’t have the ability to compensate for the effects of environmental causes such as air pollution as easily. Here are easy ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality:
- Replace your air conditioner or furnace filters regularly. At a minimum, change your filters at the beginning of the warm or cold season.
- Vacuum and dust often.
- Regularly monitor the air quality.
- Add carbon monoxide alarms to your home.
A larger issue causing poor indoor air quality can be older insulation. It isn’t uncommon for insulation to be the source of mold due to moisture or water damage, which would decrease the home’s indoor air quality. Overtime insulation can capture dust, pet dandruff and more which also affect indoor air quality and can cause a person’s allergies to be worse.
Poor indoor air quality can also be due to air leaks in your building envelope. Outdoor pollutants can easily enter the home when it is not properly sealed. Over time, pollen and allergens can have a noticeable effect on a home’s indoor air quality and a person’s health.
Ready to prepare a home to age in place?
If you’re interested in ensuring your home is ready for you or a loved one to age in place, we would love to help make sure it is comfortable. Contact Ecotelligent Homes today to schedule an energy audit.