Tip #1 Get your furnace ready for cooler temps
Before you turn your furnace on for the first time this fall, take the time to change or clean your filter and have your unit inspected and cleaned by a professional to ensure optimal efficiency. You may also want to consider having your air ducts cleaned out if your home has undergone interior renovations or if you have pets. This will help ensure that the air you are circulating throughout your home is healthy.
Tip #2 Clean your window screens and frames
You may be amazed by the amount of pollen and other allergens that get trapped between your screens and windows. Before you close those windows up for good this year, take the time to take down your screens and hose them off to get rid of any excess pollen and debris that may be stuck onto the screen’s surface. Also, clean out the well around the window. Grass clippings, dirt, debris, and other allergens can easily get trapped inside of this area. A good clean out will ensure that you don’t seal these home air contaminants inside of your home for the winter.
Tip #3 Keep your home’s humidity at a comfortable level
During the winter months, your home’s humidity may drop to an uncomfortable level. If you notice that your throat is dry every morning, you may need to increase your home’s humidity to a more comfortable level. You can purchase humidifiers to run inside of bedrooms at night or a whole home humidifier to alleviate the dryness of stale winter air. Be sure not to go above 60% relative humidity as mold growth may begin.
Tip #4 Vacuum more often and dust with a microfiber cloth
During the warmer months it is easy to open windows and doors and “air out” your home. Welcoming in fresh outdoor air is one of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality. During the winter months when it is too cold to open up windows and doors you will need to spend a little extra time dusting and vacuuming in order to rid surfaces of airborne pollutants that have settled. Make sure you use a HEPA filtered model to vacuum and a microfiber cloth to dust to trap dust particles instead of rereleasing them into your home air.
Tip #5 Toss any artificially scented products
Chemical fragrances contain numerous hazardous chemicals that are a major threat to your indoor air quality. Toss out scented candles, air fresheners, health and beauty products, and household cleaners and detergents containing fragrances. Look for natural alternatives that do not contain dangerous chemicals.