Cool Weather, Healthy Air
You’ve heard it before. Winter is coming. Of course, that has many of us thinking about and planning for the upcoming holidays, but what about your home’s indoor air quality? Colder weather means more time spent indoors, and the quality of the air you breathe can affect you and your family’s holiday season more than you might expect.
According to the EPA, poor winter indoor air quality can aggravate conditions like asthma and increase a person’s risk of developing pneumonia and other upper respiratory problems. Long-term exposure to indoor airborne contaminants have also been connected to contributing to cancer and increasing the risk of heart disease.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve your indoor air and prepare your home for winter with these helpful tips:
- Dust and vacuum regularly
Keeping your home dust-free will help your air filters to work more efficiently, which can lead to improved indoor air quality. By using a damp microfiber cloth or vacuuming regularly, you can help minimize the amount of dust and debris floating around in your air.
- Increase ventilation
As temperatures drop you want to keep the warm air inside, but you don’t want to keep the air contaminants trapped in there too! Weather permitting, open a window to allow fresh air in and stale air out. Kitchen and bathroom vents are another great way to pull out some of the stale indoor air during the winter.
- Invest in a humidifier
It’s not just polluted indoor air that can cause discomfort or illness. The extreme dryness of winter air can also be a contributor. Fan-powered humidifiers blow moisture vapor to increase the moisture content of the air and reduce static electricity. This can help individuals inside the home breathe more comfortably by preventing dry throats and nasal passages. Adding the right amount of humidity to the air also controls dust mites, mold, and mildew.
- Check and change your air filters
HVAC system air filters are a defense against indoor air pollutants, but in order to do the job well, they must be maintained – especially in winter when the heating unit is running almost constantly. Dirty air filters are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality. Check your filters regularly and change them as needed.
- Get your air ducts professionally cleaned
The air in your home (including airborne dust, pet dander, mold spores, and more) is pulled into your HVAC system and recirculated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation can cause a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork. Each time you turn your heating system on, contaminants make their way into your living spaces where they are breathed in by your family. Luckily, air duct cleaning can help combat this build-up of dust, dirt, and debris which in turn, lessens the amount of potential asthma and allergy triggers, helping to improve the indoor air quality and overall health of your home.
Find a reputable company
Get your home ready for the winter months by hiring a credible company to clean your home’s air ducts. There are a lot of scammers out there, so it’s more important than ever to hire an air duct cleaning company that is a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). NADCA members pledge to the NADCA Code of Conduct, clean according to ACR, The NADCA Standard, and follow a higher standard of customer service. To find a NADCA member in your area, visit the Find a Professional Directory and schedule an air duct cleaning today.