While Mother Nature may have us thinking otherwise in New Hampshire, the cold days of winter are just around the corner. And with the arrival of winter comes a decrease in indoor air quality as we close up our homes to protect ourselves from the bitter cold. This decrease in indoor air quality can wreak havoc on your health, especially if you already suffer from allergies or respiratory disease. Here are 10 ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home–and your health–this winter:
1. Keep your HVAC system well maintained.
Not surprisingly, your HVAC system plays a major role in your indoor air quality. A malfunction with your HVAC system can cause it to blow dust, dirt, and mold throughout your home, greatly reducing your indoor air quality. An annual maintenance plan will ensure your HVAC system stays in good working order. Think your HVAC system has a problem? Contact the Advanced Home Inspection team to schedule an inspection.
2. Make sure your home is properly ventilated.
If your attic, kitchen, and bathrooms are not properly ventilated, you can have a host of problems, including mold growth. The Advanced Home Inspection team can inspect these areas for you to prevent future health problems and costly home repair expenses. Contact us to schedule an inspection.
3. Check your air filters.
Between regular maintenance on your HVAC system, replace your filters. A dirty air filter will make your HVAC system work harder and is bad for your health because its causes dirt, dust, and other pollutants to be blown into your home. For information on how and when to change your HVAC system’s filters, consult your operation manual.
4. Consider getting a humidifier.
If your home is especially dry in the winter, consider buying a humidifier to increase your moisture level and make your air feel warmer.
5. Get rid of the dust.
Dust bunnies aren’t cute–especially when they’re in the grilles and vents of your ductwork. A little dusting and vacuuming will go long way in improving your indoor air quality this winter.
6. Crack a window.
Our homes are closed up tight all winter long, trapping stale air inside. On warmer winter days, try to crack open a window for a few minutes to let in some fresh air.
7. Avoid the use of toxic chemicals inside your home.
Most people would be surprised at the level of toxic chemicals found in many of the common products–including cleaning solutions and personal care items–we use in our homes. During the winter months–when there is little outside air exchange, these items can dramatically reduce your indoor air quality. Check out the Department of Health and Human Services Household Products Database for a listing of common household products and their ingredients.
8. Wash your bedding every week.
Washing your bedding every week with hot water will help remove dust mites and pollen and and kill most of the germs that find their way onto your sheets and blankets. This is especially important if you have allergies.
9. Keep your floors clean.
Regularly vacuuming your rugs and floors will help reduce dust and allergens in your home. For best results, consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
10. Pick up a plant.
Plants can beautify your home. But, did you know that some of them can also help remove toxins from the air? Check out NASA’s list of plants that improve indoor air quality. Keep in mind that some plants may be harmful to pets and children if ingested.
Home Inspections in New Hampshire and Vermont
When your home is inspected by a member of the AHINH team, you can be sure it will receive a careful and thorough examination–from your HVAC system, to your roof, to your plumbing. Contact the home inspection professionals at Advanced Home Inspection today. We’re here to help.