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According to a recent article in USA Today, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative effect on the economy, the housing market is booming. In September, home sales in the United States were up 13.6 percent due to many Americans fleeing larger cities and urban areas to avoid being infected by the coronavirus and to take advantage of working from home.

So, it seems likely that a lot of us are dealing with trying to settle into a new home during the stress of a global pandemic. Meaning that now, more than ever, you’re going to want your home to be a source of safety and comfort. Check out the following five ways to help make your new house the cozy home you need right now.

1. Keep your home’s temperature comfortable.

Whether you need a whole new system for your new home’s heating and cooling needs or you’re just not willing to risk the current system breaking down in the upcoming severe weather, you can find certified technicians to get the job done right the first time at AC Heating and Air Conditioning Services. The quality of your HVAC system and the HVAC maintenance performed on the HVAC system has the largest impact on comfort, utility costs and unit longevity. That’s why you want a technician you can trust to take care of your air conditioner and heating system.

It is always best to ensure your HVAC system is working at optimal performance for the best deals on your energy bills and to guarantee optimal year-long comfort. Plus, AC Heating and Air Conditioning Services also offer services for guaranteeing that the air quality within your home is optimal so you can know you’re breathing the cleanest air possible. Air filters are crucial if you have allergies or asthma, but it’s always best to keep air pollution out of your home.

2. Consider making accommodations to your home for the disabled.

Not only are you going to want to make accommodations for any guests who may have physical disabilities you invite over to your house (consider looking into what the Americans with Disabilities Act recommends), but you should always be prepared in case you suffer an injury, sudden illness, or develop a medical condition that requires special needs. A research study conducted by Huduser found that the majority of homes in the U.S. do not have accommodations for someone with a disability despite the growing desire of the elderly to “age in place” and the fact that as many as one in four people living in the United States has a disability (according to the CDC).

If you’re an animal person, making ways for accomodating a cat with disabilities can become necessary as well. For example, if you decide to adopt a special needs cat that suffers from blindness then you’re going to have to make accommodations for this impairment around your house. Things such as keeping the special needs cat’s things (litter box, food/water dishes, etc.) in the same location, making sure to keep things in the same places and clutter-free (moving things around can cause a special needs cat to run into things and become stressed), making sure the toilet bowl lid is always down, talking to your special needs cat when you enter a room as sudden noise can startle them, and keeping your cat indoors unless you can find a way for your kitty to enjoy time outdoors on a leash.

3. Pay attention to lighting.

Keeping yourself in the right lighting throughout the day keeps your circadian rhythms working properly aiding in better sleep and helps you maintain ideal moods. Make sure your home is filled with multiple kinds of lighting such as plenty of decorative candles, ideal overhead lighting, and lamps. Also, try to open the curtains and let natural light in during the day.

You should also consider looking into light sources that boost your home’s energy efficiency. Ideally, all light sources and appliances should be certified by Energy Star to further reduce energy costs.

4. Make your home pretty.

Let’s be honest — even a nice house isn’t comfortable if it isn’t properly decorated. A dull house is distracting to your sense of calm. According to a Medium article from 2018, a study even found that people who are in “beautiful settings” tend to be happier with themselves, more energized, and more positive.

5. Make sure your home is organized and clean.

When everything has a place, things run smoother and you’re less stressed. When you get home from work and the house is clean, you feel like you can relax. When it’s not, you become instantly stressed by the prospect of spending a long time cleaning when you need time to unwind. Making sure to keep the house organized and to make a cleaning schedule you can stick to is the easiest way to maintaining a stress-free and comfortable environment.

Pauline McDonald