Studies have consistently shown that indoor air quality is at least five times more polluted than outdoor air quality. During the winter months, however, this percentage can be even higher because we open windows and doors less often when it’s cold.
When we keep our houses closed up, we trap in all the bacteria and viruses we track home. In addition, appliances like fireplaces, furnaces, ovens, stoves, space heaters and water heaters release gases and particulates into the air — and during winter they get trapped inside even more often.
Breathing in poor-quality air can significantly impact your health and lead illnesses to last for longer periods of time. It can be especially dangerous for people with respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis.
So, what can you to do improve indoor air quality during the winter? Check out these five tips for reinventing your indoor air quality.
Opening doors and windows is great for getting air circulation moving in your home, but that just airs it out one day. It’s hard to do that on a daily basis during the winter. Instead, look into getting trickle vents installed. These allow fresh air to trickle in to your home, and for polluted air to trickle out. Since it’s just a small stream of air, it’s not as much of a burden on your heating bill.
Replace Your HVAC Filters
Make sure that you’re replacing the filters in your heating system regularly. Dust can accrue in older filters, and then the heater will blow that into your home, further polluting the air. Consult your HVAC manual or a local expert for information on how often to replace your filters.
Use an Air Purifier
Using an air purifier is a great way to filter existing pollutants out of the air. Make sure to look for one that uses a HEPA filter for the greatest efficacy. Adding houseplants to your home can also help purify the air naturally.
Banish Toxic Products
Toxins in the air come from sources you may not expect, like chemical-laden personal care and cleaning products, mattresses, bedding, carpet, paint, furniture and even tap water. Address one area at a time and replace these items with natural, nontoxic alternatives and install a water filter to reduce your chlorine exposure.
Keep the Floors Clean
Adding a doormat to each of your doors can help reduce the amount of dirt and germs that are tracked into your home on shoes. Also, make sure everyone removes their shoes at the door so any remaining pollutants stay there. Using a vacuum with a good HEPA filter and keeping hardwood floors clean with a microfiber mop can also help.
How do you make sure your indoor air quality stays pure during the winter?
Feature image courtesy of Barbara