Improving Indoor Air Quality During Winter
As winter rears its frigid head, you’ll be spending more time in your home. So you’ll want the air you breathe to be clean so as not to put your health at risk. Here are some tips.
- The most important thing you can do is have your furnace maintained, and then replace filters frequently – monthly for one-inch filters and every six months for thicker ones. Also consider filters with a higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating.
- Have your air ducts cleaned and sealed to get rid of any dirt and debris that may be in them and may be ultimately released into your home.
- Also consider an air purifier as an extra layer of protection.
- To reduce pollutants like mold, pollen and dust mites, dust often and wipe down walls, counters, etc. Vacuum frequently, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Mop hard floors using white vinegar and water.
- Take shoes off when entering the home, as shoes can bring pollutants into the home.
- Use non-toxic “green” cleaner products that do not have harsh chemicals. Even better make your own solution with vinegar and baking soda.
- Avoid fragrant products such as home sprays or air fresheners.
- Open the windows occasionally to let fresh air in. Yes, that might drive up your heating costs a bit, but it is important to let some fresh air in from the outside.
- Add humidity by installing either a whole house humidifier or room humidifiers. Try to keep humidity at the 40% to 50% range.
- Add plants in the house. They can help clean and purify your home’s air and remove toxins and stuffiness.
- Avoid products with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can cause a variety of health issues including eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness and even memory impairment.
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