Improving Indoor Air Quality During Winter
Did you know that the concentration of pollutants in your indoor air could be 10 times higher than that of outdoor air?
That’s the price we pay for having homes that are more airtight and efficient: air that is inside your home tends to stay there – as does the dust, mold, dead skin, pet dander, and pollutants from cleaners, aerosol sprays, construction materials and more that are contained within it. Indoor air quality is an especially pressing issue during the winter, when we tend to spend more time indoors with our windows closed, breathing under-humidified air.
The bad news is that poor air quality can have a big impact on our health – especially for children, the elderly, and people who are prone to respiratory issues like asthma and allergies. The good news is there are simple ways to improve the quality of air inside your central Massachusetts home.
9 Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality During Winter
Here are some indoor air quality tips to consider in the winter months ahead.
- Clean your floors regularly – Vacuum carpets with a HEPA filter once a week, and mop hard floors frequently with white vinegar and water. Also: shoes can carry dangerous bacteria and toxins into your home, so leave them at the door!
- Choose “green” cleaning products – Opt for eco-friendly leaning products when they’re available. Better yet, make your own – vinegar and baking soda are great natural cleaning agents that cut grease, clean drains, kill germs, and more.
- Avoid fragrant home products – Odorants in home sprays, chemical air fresheners, and scented candles can be toxic; opt for essential oils and a diffuser. Choose soy or beeswax-based candle varieties scented with essential oils.
- Fight over-dry air – Winter air is significantly dryer than at other times of the year, and it can irritate skin, increase allergic and asthma sensitivity and even damage your furniture and electronics. Installing a whole-house humidifier will help you keep home humidity in a healthy 50-60 percent range.
- Don’t forget ventilation – Once a week, open windows and turn on fans to freshen the air in your home and let out some pollutants that may have accumulated.
- Add greenery – Plants are natural air purifiers that suck toxic chemicals through their leaves and remove trace levels of toxic vapors through their roots. They look great, too!
- Choose home improvement materials wisely – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from paint and construction materials can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment. Most quality hardware stores offer low-VOC products – ask for them.
- Get professional HVAC maintenance every year – Routine maintenance of your heating and cooling equipment will help keep air contaminants from building and circulating in your home. Check your HVAC air filters once per month, cleaning or changing them when necessary.
- Invest in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions – A whole-house humidifier will keep the air at healthy moisture levels to discourage mold and mildew growth, while a whole-house air purifier will remove most allergens and irritants.
Breathe easier this winter with indoor air quality solutions and expert HVAC maintenance from Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling. Contact us today to get a FREE, no-obligation estimate on indoor air quality equipment installations in your Middlesex or Norfolk County, MA home.