(StatePoint) Our homes are our sanctuaries. It’s more important than ever to ensure your home is a safe and healthy environment for you and your family. Indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your health, and the air inside your home is oftentimes more polluted than the air outside. Explore five effective wellness design principles that can lead to better indoor air quality and on overall healthier home.

1. Increase natural light.

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One of the most effective ways for improving the interior environment of your home is by bringing in more sunlight. Sunlight also provides numerous health and wellness benefits:

• helping the body to produce vitamin D

• boosting productivity

• promoting better sleep by helping the body maintain its circadian rhythm

• improving your mood and energy

Consider large windows and window combinations. Casement windows from Andersen, which are available in dramatic sizes, create a stronger connection to the outside. Certified by ENERGY STAR, homeowners can opt for more glass in their windows while continuing to prioritize energy efficiency.

2. Invest in safe materials.

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Potentially harmful VOCs, or “volatile organic compounds,” are gases emitted from certain common household products, including paints, varnishes and cleaning supplies. Exposure to VOCs can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and over time, can even cause organ damage, according to the EPA. However, “zero-VOC” and “low-VOC” options exist and selecting these alternatives will minimize the potential for these common pollutants to impact the air quality in your home, helping reduce health risks to you and your family.

3. Foster ventilation.

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Ventilation helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odors and indoor pollutants. Natural ventilation is a great alternative to air conditioning in moderate climates. To ensure maximum ventilation, be selective about the insect screens you choose for your windows and doors. TruScene insect screens from Andersen for example, let in over 25 percent more fresh air and 50 percent more clarity than standard Andersen fiberglass insect screens, making them a good choice for people who want to take advantage of open windows.

4. Eliminate dust.

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Accumulated dust can irritate the eyes, lungs and skin and further aggravate the symptoms of people living with allergies. Sometimes attempts to free a home of dust only end up kicking up more debris. To avoid this, use wet dusting methods. When it’s time to empty vacuum bags and canisters, do so carefully — this is one task that may be best to perform outdoors. Finally, make maintaining a dust-free home easier by investing in an air purifier. Consider also selecting machine washable curtains, furniture covers and other fabrics.

5. Decorate with plants.

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Decorating your living spaces with plants is not only a beautiful design statement, but plants act as natural air purifiers, absorbing toxicants and converting indoor carbon dioxide into oxygen.

For more healthy home ideas and inspiration, visit andersenwindows.com.

Improving the interior environment of your home is vital. Fortunately, there are many effective steps you can take to promote healthy indoor spaces.

Photo 4 Credit: (c) LanaStock / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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