A Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report finds homeowners are increasingly interested in the health impacts of household products and the built environment during home remodels. In a summary of the report, newspaper The Day defines health home remodeling as "anything involving products or techniques to improve indoors environmental home conditions."

Thirty percent of homeowners said they were concerned that some aspect of their residence was negatively affecting an occupant's health. This concern was more pronounced among younger households with people between the ages of 25 and 34 (42%) and those with children (37%).

More than one-third of homeowners said they have already completed upgrades designed to improve their home's indoor environmental health or that they have firm plans to do so. Nearly half of these homeowners said they have already changed their air filters. More than 40% said they have used room darkening shades or plan to do so, while about 40% said they removed mold or intend to do so.

Despite the strong concern about healthy living spaces, the study found that many remodelers are still in the early stages of integrating a health-conscious approach into their materials and practices.

The report says the findings suggest that home health may be becoming a more standard part of home remodeling, but that remodelers are "apparently not yet widely engaged in seizing upon this growth." The average remodeler used techniques to improve home health in 28% of their projects.

Most remodelers said homeowners have become more cognizant of home health issues, with 85% saying they are more knowledgeable about available options than two years ago. Remodeling contractors also had a greater awareness of these options. Seventy-eight percent said they are extremely or very confident about talking to clients about health home options, up from 52% in 2014. Forty-six percent said their firm routinely initiated discussion on the issue rather than their clients.

Asked about the benefits of addressing home health issues through a remodeling project, 68% said it improved customer satisfaction or loyalty. Fifty-eight percent said it helped expand their customer base, while 56% said it was the right thing to do. Sixty-four percent said more expensive materials presented a constraint in healthy home remodeling, with one-third saying customers usually can't afford the expense of the project. Thirty-eight percent said these projects require specialized training.

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