When your home is closed up all winter long it causes the same stale air to remain inside for months at a time. This stale air has many negative effects on your home and family. Lack of air exchange will allow a buildup of mold, pollen, pet dander, and dust to occur. These types of contaminants create health issues for family members with allergies and respiratory conditions. Opening a window or door occasionally will help to circulate new, fresh air throughout the home in warm months. However, opening the door can mean letting out precious warm air during the winter. Homeowners can use one or more of the tips mentioned below to improve their indoor air quality in the home during the winter months without letting out the heat.
1. Minimize Chemical Pollutants
When there will be little air movement, it’s vital to minimize the number of chemical pollutants that enter into the air. You can do this by avoiding cleaners with potent fragrances and cleaners with harsh chemicals. When you do use chemicals, try to open the windows in the room if possible. Any equipment should never run idly inside of an unventilated area like a garage. This caution is especially important if your garage is attached to your home.
2. Use Devices With a HEPA Filtration System
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters trap many allergens because they are able to catch the smallest particles. Using these filters on humidifiers and air purifiers will increase their effectiveness. Inside, HEPA filters have the ability to be removed and cleaned on a regular basis to ensure they’re not continuously putting the same harmful particles back into the air.
3. Use Machine Washable Items
To avoid putting the chemicals from dry cleaning into the air of your home, use machine washable clothing and bedding. Machine washable bedding also makes it easier for a person to wash the linens weekly, which cuts back on the number of allergens significantly.
4. Regulate Humidity
Air that’s too dry is uncomfortable to breathe and can lead to sinus issues like frequent nosebleeds. However, air that’s too moist leads to mold and mildew. The EPA suggests keeping your indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent in order to be comfortable but not become a breeding ground for mold. If you invest in a humidifier for any room, or a whole-home humidification system, you should regularly clean the filters to ensure they are working. Heatwave Heating & Cooling is able to install humidifiers or dehumidifiers into your home depending on your needs.
5. Utilize Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Showers and baths put moisture into the air, but you can reduce the amount of moisture by running an exhaust fan. Homeowners can have it installed so the fan turns on with the flick of the same switch that turns the light on. This encourages the use of the exhaust fan with every shower, without having to remember another switch.
6. Add Plants to the House
Houseplants add a unique feature to your home decor and improve indoor air quality. They look beautiful and they filter carbon dioxide while exchanging it for fresh oxygen. Plants that filter the air include peace lilies, snake plants, aloe vera, and English ivy.
7. Install an Air Filtration System
Since your home will be lacking the natural flow of air for many months, it might be a good idea to get an air filtration system. These systems provide whole-home air purification and help reduce conditions associated with poor indoor air quality. Heatwave is able to install filtrations systems in any home or business. We can also service any existing system to keep it running at peak performance.
8. Check HVAC Filters
Heatwave recommends replacing the filters in your HVAC or furnace system every 60-90 days. You should do it more frequently if you have family members with allergies or many pets in the home. Changing filters will ensure that your heating system is capturing any harmful pollutants and stopping them from circulating throughout your home again and again. Having a clogged filter also affects the efficiency of your heating system, so this practice will save you money and keep your system healthy longer.
9. Vent to the Outside
In order to improve your winter indoor air quality, you need proper ventilation for appliances so their exhaust does not build up in your home. Make sure that fireplaces, range tops, furnaces, exhaust fans, and heaters all vent to the outside away from windows and HVAC intakes.
10. Schedule Regular HVAC Tune-ups
Schedule a regular HVAC system tune-up in order to ensure the system works properly and efficiently. During the inspection, a professional will clean out the system and check for any cracks or failures.
Why choose Heatwave?
You don’t have to sacrifice good indoor air quality to stay warm this winter. By following some of these tips, you can improve your health and comfort this winter. For any of your HVAC needs, call your trusted technicians at Heatwave Heating & Cooling!