It’s not difficult to get fresh air in the home during the spring, summer, and fall months – all you need to do is open up the windows or screen door to get a nice breeze. But things can get more challenging during the winter months when the windows close up and homeowners work to make their properties airtight to minimize drafts and prevent warm air from escaping. As a result, indoor air quality may suffer.
The good news is that there are still plenty of ways to maintain good indoor air quality during the winter months – and they’re not all that different from some of the strategies you may implement at other times of the year. Here’s a closer look at how to improve your indoor air quality this winter.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality This Winter
Deep Clean Your Home
You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but fall cleaning is just as important. While chores like dusting and vacuuming are likely regular in your household, there are certain times of the year when you should kick things up a notch. Professional carpet cleaning is one way to remove dirt, debris, pet dander, and bacteria that have become deeply embedded in the fibers of your carpet. While you’re at it, check to see if your air ducts need to be cleaned. If they do, the fall months are an ideal time to have this service done. When the windows close up for the season and the furnace kicks on, any particulate in the air ducts is likely to come out through the vents and circulate throughout the home. A professional duct cleaning will do more than just remove particulate, it will eliminate any bacteria and deodorize the ducts as well.
Change Your HVAC Filter
It doesn’t matter what season it is, changing your HVAC filter according to manufacturer recommendations is going to benefit your home’s indoor air quality. That’s because air filters are designed to trap particulates like allergens, mold, pet dander, and other debris before they can circulate within your home. However, if the filter becomes too soiled, it’s not going to do its job effectively. Most air filters need to be changed once every three months for best results.
In addition to promoting better indoor air quality within the home, clean filters also often translate to more efficient HVAC systems.
Invest in Air Cleaners / Sanitizers
Air cleaners and sanitizers work by pulling in and recirculating air, capturing any debris, dust, and other particulates in a filter so that they’re taken out of the air you and your family breathe. They can be particularly helpful during the winter months, especially for homeowners or residents that have severe allergies.
Add Plants to Your Home
Adding houseplants is one of the easiest and most cost-effective means you can take in your home to improve its indoor air quality. That’s because plants help catch carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and other indoor toxins via a process known as phytoremediation. Aside from scrubbing indoor air of toxins, plants are also linked to increased productivity and a reduction in stress.
Pay Closer Attention to Product Labels
The winter months are a good time to get into the habit of more carefully checking the product labels of the items that you buy. Stay away from using products that contain formaldehyde indoors and consider switching to using cleaning chemicals that are natural and don’t contain any harsh ingredients. If you do have products in the house that contain a potentially hazardous mixture, make sure that they’re safely stored and only used in situations where there’s adequate ventilation.
Check the Batteries in Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, scentless, colorless gas that can be fatal if too much of it is inhaled. Stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, gas ranges, lanterns and other gas-powered appliances all generate carbon monoxide. And while homes are designed to vent fumes from gas-burning appliances to the outdoors, carbon monoxide can still pose a risk for households – especially during the winter months when gas appliances and furnaces tend to be used more frequently. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested and cleaned regularly. According to the EPA, each floor of the home should have a carbon monoxide detector.
Contact Air Comfort of KY, Inc. Today
For more information on the importance of indoor air quality and for help in optimizing your HVAC system to improve your home’s air quality this winter season, contact Air Comfort KY, Inc. today.