Winter is upon us which always means sealed doors and closed windows. While the air outside might be brisk, the air inside your home during the winter months should be what you worry about most. During the winter, the indoor air quality in your home takes a dip due to vastly reduced circulation. While we huddle inside buildings that are closed tight, it’s the perfect environment to trap in pollutants and moisture.
Before you panic completely, there’s good news! There are things you can do (that don’t include opening the windows during a snowstorm) that will help improve your indoor air quality.
Keeping your indoor space clean helps keep your air clean, too. Dusting regularly and frequent vacuuming can help reduce airborne pollutants such as mold, pollen, and dust mites from taking over your living space. Whenever possible, avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals and go for the non-toxic, natural solutions instead to prevent breathing in fumes.
Have your ductwork inspected and cleaned
Have a professional come out to inspect your HVAC system to make sure all ducts are free of leaks and have been cleaned of dust and debris. This will prevent these pollutants from entering your indoor air and causing trouble.
Don’t ignore your air filters
Air filters aren’t just a luxury that should be changed whenever you think about them. Set regular dates to change your filters as they are your first line of defense against indoor air pollutants. For them to work their best, they need to be properly maintained. This is especially important in the winter when your heating system is running constantly.
Add some humidity
Make a humidifier part of your home’s decor this winter to keep away the extremely dry air that winter can bring. Humidifiers blow moisture vapor directly into ducts and increase the moisture in the air. This means you can breathe more comfortably and prevent scratchy, dry noses and throats. Humidity will also help control dust mites, pollen, and other airborne particles.
Inspect secondary heating sources
If you use a wood-burning stove in the winter as a secondary heat source, be aware that the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning greatly increase. To combat this, make sure your stove is checked by a professional before using it to ensure the flue isn’t blocked or damaged. This kind of negligence can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home in dangerous amounts.
Use an air purifier
Advancing technology has made air purifiers affordable for almost all homes. Modern air purifiers can even kill small pathogens like bacteria, viruses, pollen, and animal dander – all things that can build up in stagnant indoor air. A purifier can help keep the air cleaner and everyone inside healthier in the long run.
Let the air circulate once in a while
Even the coldest of winters often have the occasional day when the sun is out and things feel like maybe they can thaw a little bit. Take advantage of these days and open the windows room by room for a little bit to get some fresh air circulating. Even a few minutes can help take the stagnant air out of your home and help keep you breathing fresh air instead.
Before you seal those doors and windows tight, call the experts at Quality Air and Heating to come out and assess your home for indoor air quality. Our services can include cleaning your ductwork and making sure your HVAC is clean and working properly this winter season.