I am pleased to publish a guest post today from Jakob Barry with information on avoiding a polluted air supply in your home over the winter months. I know I always keep meaning to get more plants to help keep our air fresher!
I’m grateful to have these tips as well…
With winter here and most of our time being spent indoors there’s something we should be extra careful about when it comes to our families. It’s called the state of our indoor air.
Think about it. During the cooler months the arctic air can be so paralyzing we rarely open the windows and let the breeze just blow through our homes. The air becomes stale and tainted with undesirable particles which end up constantly circulating through our living spaces.
Depending on the region you live in and how long the winter lasts, the cycle of inhaling contaminated air could lead to various types of sicknesses and respiratory problems. At the very least it can make us feel pretty lethargic.
That’s why in order to help everyone breathe a little easier over the next few months, some preventative measures should be taken to avoid a polluted air supply. Here are a few things to watch out for and tips worth considering:
- Monitor central air filters: If you ask professionals in cold weather states such as heating contractors in Cleveland Ohio, they will tell you homeowners should check their heating and air-conditioning filters from time to time. After heavy use they can become quite dirty and either need to be changed or washed if reusable. At the same time, wiping down vents and ducts is also recommended to reduce the amount of dirty particles floating around.
- Dust: Dust contains a lot of organic matter from people, bugs, and plants and is one of the biggest causes of respiratory problems in homes throughout the year. It’s also one of the hardest chores to keep up with because it’s everywhere! Nevertheless, regular dusting of common places should be done at least once a week and less common spots monthly. It’s also a good idea to keep clean linens closed up so when they are needed dust doesn’t take a friendly nose by surprise.
- Mold: During the winter mold and mildew can sometimes grow in parts of the home where condensation builds. If this is a problem in your house it’s important to wash it away so mold spores don’t become airborne. Mold also forms when trash sits around a home too long (especially when the house is toasty warm) and can wreak havoc on a home’s indoor air. For this reason place an easily accessible garbage can outside and if you keep a compost bucket in the kitchen, empty it a little more often.
- DIYing? Ventilate: Unless you live in an area that tends to stay warm all year round, the focus of most winter DIY work is going to be interior projects as conditions won’t allow for much more. It’s important to remember anything that involves paint, staining, or the like indoors needs good ventilation to keep air breathable. Alternatively, it’s probably a good idea to simply open all the windows on a warm day just to air out the home. Do it in the late morning when the heating system is turned down and the sun is shining brightest.
- Pets: If you have pets that don’t need to be walked everyday be sure to change their litter or whatever you use in their cages more frequently. It will prevent a build up of dirty particles that can go airborne and circulate throughout the household without you knowing it.
Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He writes about eco-friendly topics for contractors across the U.S. including Tacoma painters.