During the winter, you probably want to keep cold air out of your house as much as possible. While insulating your house can keep you cozy and help you save on heating bills, it can also make the air quality inside your house worse. This can make you and your family sick. On top of that, since you probably spend the majority of your time inside during the cold months, you're probably breathing in more air pollutants than you would at any other time of year.
If you're concerned about what might be getting into your lungs this winter, Charleston Heating + Air can help clean your air and protect your health. Here are some other things you can do to keep your indoor air fresh and healthy all winter.
What Causes Bad Air Quality During the Winter Months?
As soon as the weather turns cold, many homeowners seal off their houses. You probably keep your windows shut, block drafts under your doors, and ensure your insulation is in good shape so that your house stays as warm as possible. In some ways, this is a sensible thing to do -- heating can be expensive, after all. But it also means that the air in your house becomes stale. When you don't allow air to circulate freely in and out of the house, invisible toxins and pollutants can build up in the air and affect your health.
Here are a few of the most common pollutants that may be in your indoor air right now:
- Pet Dander
- Mold Spores
- Dust and dirt
- Dust Mites
- Chemicals from cleaning products, air fresheners, and paint
If you or your children have asthma or allergies, any of the contaminants listed above can irritate your airways and make the condition worse. And in cases of severe indoor air pollution, harsh volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and asbestos can cause respiratory problems, heart problems, and lung cancer. That's why it's so important to take precautions during the winter to make sure your air is healthy to breathe.
How to Keep Your Indoor Air Clean and Healthy This Winter
There are a few simple things you can do to keep your indoor air as fresh and unpolluted as possible during the winter. The easiest thing you can do is to open a window whenever you can. If you have an unseasonably mild day, take the opportunity to air out a few rooms in your house. This allows old air and trapped pollutants to escape and be replaced by fresh air.
You can also take steps to keep pollutants out of your air in the first place. Dust surfaces in your house with a damp cloth, vacuum your carpets frequently and wash your bedding on a regular basis. Frequent cleaning is particularly important if you have pets.
Pay special attention to the areas of your house where mold is most likely to grow. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements all tend to attract mold and mildew. Clean these areas regularly and address any mold problems as soon as you find them.
Avoid painting your house or embarking on major home renovation projects in the winter if you can help it. Paint, sealants, adhesives, and similar substances tend to give off fumes that can linger in your air if your workspace is not properly ventilated. Save your projects for warmer weather, when it's easier to air out your house.