After two years of the pandemic (and living primarily indoors), nearly everyone has begun to acknowledge the importance of inspiring a healthy home life through their environment. And with the demographics of homeowners increasingly shifting from Baby Boomers and Gen X to that of Millennials as the primary clients, designers are starting to see the tastes and priorities of home design start to shift under their influence, as this demographic is even more focused on healthy living and environmental stewardship and more tech savvy than previous generations.
While we strive to keep a robust catalog of health, wellness and sustainably-focused products ranging from design and technology backgrounds, it helps to be able to have them organized into their best use cases. So, we reached out to the experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery on what they think fits in nicely with the demands of healthy home living for the millennial client.
1. Touchless Faucets and Bidets
Considering how vital water is in our everyday lives, there are plenty of reasons to place a heavy focus on the faucet. Aside from convenience, touchless faucets greatly reduce points of contact at the sink, thereby reducing the spread of germs and minimizing the amount of cleaning that needs to be done. Touchless bidets also fulfill a similar purpose and lean into the growing popularity of this bathroom fixture in the United States.
2. High-Performance Dishwashers
The dishwasher can be the unsung hero of the healthy kitchen. Not only does it prevent long periods of standing while doing dishes it also reduces homeowner exposure to associated cleaning chemicals. Many modern manufacturers even have sanitization cycles on their products, contributing to an extra level of clean handwashing can’t attain.
As a bonus, it’s also the most sustainable way to wash dishes. An Energy-Star-Rated dishwasher will use as little as 3 gallons of water during a fully-stocked wash cycle, while handwashing often uses 27 gallons of water on a single load of dishes.
3. Ceiling and Exhaust Fans
Air quality continues to be a dominant concern, and while nothing beats a solid HVAC system or air purifier, over the years, the humble ceiling fan has received several noteworthy upgrades, including the addition of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection on some models.
“Not only can they help keep you cool and circulate air,” state the experts at Ferguson, “but they also kill 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2 and other airborne pathogens while safely neutralizing allergens, odors, and fumes.”
Meanwhile, exhaust fans can help keep humidity levels low in areas like the bathroom and laundry room, where moisture levels are a large concern. Products like the Broan SurfaceShield Exhaust fan even incorporate similar innovative lighting technologies to keep bacteria and mold out.
4. Purified Water Dispensers
In the interest of home health and wellness, an under-the-sink filtration system should be mandatory in every home to help reduce bacteria, heavy metals, microplastics, PFAs and other harmful chemicals in drinking water. Alternatively, something like the Signature Hardware Fanning Filtration Kitchen Faucet with Built-In Water Dispenser can come pre-equipped with a recyclable filter.
5. Steam Oven
If this is your first-time hearing about a steam oven, just think of a convection oven that uses steam instead of heated air to cook food. These technological innovations can either be paired with convection ovens or used entirely on their own to create meals that remain succulent and flavorful without the need for extra cooking oils. They also help preserve many vitamins in food that normally get destroyed through traditional cooking.
6. Outdoor Appliances
“Now more than ever, finding extra space at home is a must and we are no longer limited to keeping it all inside,” say the experts. “We continue to see outdoor living spaces come to life and become a multifunctional space for the entire family.”
We recently talked about how outdoor lighting, audio and video systems can play into this, but as the experts also note: “Appliances are not just for kitchens anymore.” In fact, most kitchen appliances today have some outdoor counterpart, such as the fridge, which can be used to further transform outdoor spaces into separate living areas. Plus, there’s no better ventilation than wide-open outdoor air.
7. Steam Closets
A recent innovation, steam closets relate more to clothes than saunas. They’re high-tech smart fixtures that basically perform the function of dry-cleaning within the home, alongside dozens of other functions like sanitization, deodorizing, de-wrinkling and more. They even have built-in dehumidifiers to prevent musty smells and mold from developing.
“A steam closet, like that from Samsung or LG, allows you to care for your delicates without using harsh chemicals common in dry cleaning,” say the experts. “Odor elimination technology gets out 99% of stubborn smells in fabrics caused by smoke, sweat and food. In addition, the sanitary cycle reduces allergens, dry cleaning chemicals and fine dust particles.”