During the colder months, winter can result in exacerbated respiratory problems, especially for people with allergies or if they suffer from asthma. There is little need for opening windows to pull out musty air in late winter and early spring because it is still too chilly. Dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores spread through your house when the air is stale.
While you await the warmer weather it’s important to know how you can improve the indoor air quality with these changes.
Maintain a clean home
Clean your home to help reduce the accumulation of pet dander, mold, and dust. A clean house can also be healthier with a more hygienic interior. Take note of the following:
Keep a HEPA vacuum in your home to get rid of carpets and area rugs. Hard surface floors may also make it harder for allergens to accumulate.
Pets can attract allergens in the bedding, drapes, and furniture. A scientific approach to reducing allergies is to wash your linens in water that is at least 130F degrees. When possible, protect pillows and mattresses from dust mites with dust mite-proof covers.
Indoor plants should be kept to a minimum
Plants can improve the look of your home, but they can also be a source of mold. Plants have microorganisms that exist around them naturally and are necessary for proper plant health. Unfortunately, improper care can cause those microorganisms to overgrow and cause issues with air quality. Avoid overwatering, overcrowding, and poor drainage to reduce your chances of mold and other fungal diseases growing on your houseplants or their soil.
Replace your filters
If you have a forced-air heating system, be sure to change your electrostatic filters regularly so those airborne irritants don’t recirculate. If possible, you should also clean out your ducts to remove trapped dust. A professional duct cleaning can remove a large amount of dust and contaminants that have accumulated in your ductwork.
Buy an air purifier and dehumidifier
A good air purifier can help if you have a severe allergy to indoor allergens. Most air purifiers, particularly the ionic ones, enable you to get rid of irritating particles. You may not be able to remove 100% of allergens, but a significant reduction can help with respiratory issues.
A dehumidifier can prevent the occurrence of mold growth in bathrooms and basements. The bathroom should be properly vented and any mold that is found in the shower, on fixtures, or on walls needs to be cleaned completely.
Bring in some fresh air
Use fans in the kitchen to remove cooking fumes, even in the winter months, and open windows to let fresh air, when practical.
Making some simple changes can reduce your exposure to allergens and help improve your indoor air quality.