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    With the pandemic still raging on, many of us are looking for ways to lead cleaner, more sanitary lifestyles. In public, that means washing and sanitizing our hands more often, wearing face masks, and putting on gloves if we’re interacting with any high-touch surfaces.

    At home, more regular cleanings can help, as can sanitizing areas like doorknobs, countertops, and light switches daily. 

    But it’s not all on you or your cleaning capabilities. Thanks to new technology, there are actually a lot of upgrades you can make that will automate your home’s cleaning and sanitizing tasks (or eliminate the need for them altogether). 

    7 ways to keep your house sanitary and free of germs

    1. Install an air purifier.

    Air purifiers help to clean the air that circulates throughout your house. They remove indoor allergens like dust and pet dander, they filter out toxins, fumes, and mold, and they can also get rid of various airborne viruses and bacteria — a key benefit in the times of coronavirus. (Many schools have been installing air purifiers ahead of reopenings this fall in an effort to stave off outbreaks once students arrive on campus.)

    Air purifiers come in various forms. You can get small, single-room purifiers for a few hundred dollars or whole-house systems for $1,000-plus (you’ll also need a pro to install it). 

    2. Look to an antimicrobial light.

    Certain types of lights can help kill bacteria and keep your surfaces cleaner. UV lights are one of the best options, and you can get both portable lamps and wands, as well as bulbs for existing light fixtures. Many hospitals and medical facilities are using UV lighting systems to quickly and effectively sanitize spaces and prevent infection. 

    Antimicrobial LED lighting systems are another option. Vital Vio and Ellumi are two consumer-friendly brands you might want to look to for these products.

    3. Consider more ventilation.

    Installing a ventilation fan (or several of them) can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the air and on your more commonly used surfaces. The Broan-Nutone Surface Shield, for example, is an exhaust fan that features antibacterial violet light, allowing it to both filter out moisture, bacteria, and mold, while killing bacteria on surfaces below. Taylor Morrison has even begun putting these systems in their new construction properties as of August 1.

    4. Swap out your faucets and light switches for touchless versions.

    Germs spread easily on common surfaces like switches, knobs, and faucets. To minimize your risk, install touchless versions of these items instead. Touchless faucets are affordable and easy to install, and motion-sensored, touchless switches can help you turn on and off lights, fans, or even dim lights throughout your home without ever interacting with a surface. 

    5. Try other touchless options, too.

    Though switches and faucets are your most common touchless fixtures, you don’t have to stop there. There are also touchless showers, touchless locks, touchless toilets, and touchless alarm systems. You don’t have to go the full nine yards, but the more you can cut down on shared surfaces, the better.

    6. Install antimicrobial door handles.

    Though there aren’t really touchless door handles, you can install antimicrobial versions that help cut down on the amount of bacteria that can transfer from one user to the next. (Kwikset’s Microban models are just one example). There are also various finishes and films you can put on your handles to reduce contamination, too. You’ll find these at any home improvement store. 

    7. Choose antimicrobial countertops and surfaces.

    You can also swap out your countertops and cooking surfaces for antibacterial or antimicrobial options. Quartz is a good choice, as it’s antimicrobial. It’s also nonporous, meaning it won’t absorb bacteria or moisture that can breed mold or mildew. Copper is another good option, and you can use it on the counter or on fixtures and hardware (like doorknobs and drawer pulls, for example). There are also antibacterial laminate options if you want a more budget-friendly alternative.

    Paying for sanitary upgrades

    Though these upgrades can certainly keep your home cleaner and lessen your exposure to germs and bacteria, they don’t come for free. Fortunately, if you don’t have the cash to cover the costs to install, refinancing your mortgage may be able to help. With a cash-out refinance, you can tap your home equity and use the funds to pay for home upgrades (or any other expense you might have coming down the pipeline).

    If you’re considering this route, get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans expert today. They can talk you through your financial options.

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