Cold temperatures and snow discourage most people from spending as much time outdoors in the winter. Although our homes are comfortable and protect us from inclement weather, poor indoor air quality from dust, mold spores, and pet dander is still a concern. Air quality impacts us year-round but more so during the winter when we’re confined indoors. Use the following tips to help improve indoor air quality.
1. Keep Your Home Clean to Improve Indoor Air Quality
A clean house is a healthier house. Not only is keeping a clean house more hygienic, but there’s also less dust and pet dander. Vacuum the carpets and area rugs once or twice per week. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap even the smallest particles. Mop the floors and dust using a microfiber cloth each week.
2. Wash the Linens
Bedding, drapes, and other fabrics attract dirt, dust, and allergens and it’s often worse in the homes of pet owners. Wash these items in hot water that reaches 130 degrees F at least once per month. Use dust-mite covers on the mattress, pillows, box springs, and elsewhere when possible.
3. Declutter the House
Clutter creates a chaotic look and feel, causes stress for family members, and traps allergens. Declutter your house and enjoy multiple benefits, including better air quality throughout the home.
4. Take Care with Houseplants
Many people enjoy growing plants inside their homes and some plants have been proven to enhance air quality. But when plants are overwatered, they can become moldy and negatively impact your indoor air. Learn proper care for your houseplants to avoid this common problem. If mold grows in your houseplants, scoop out and discard the contaminated soil and replace it with fresh dirt.
5. Change the Filters
The filters in your HVAC system should be changed every one to three months, depending on the type of unit in the home. Filters are inexpensive and easy to replace. When you stick to the recommended schedule, your system will heat and cool your home more efficiently. Filters also reduce indoor allergies and other problems associated with poor air quality.
Improve Indoor Air Quality to Stay Healthy
Although you cannot eliminate all of the allergens inside the home, you can reduce them and your exposure to them. Simple lifestyle changes make a considerable difference in the health, cleanliness, and comfort of your home.