The winter months
They usher in cooler temperatures forcing many people to seal up their homes in an effort to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. While combating the cold is a top priority, it is equally as important to take some steps to protect your indoor air quality during the winter months. Follow the helpful tips outlined below to keep your home warm this winter without sacrificing your home air:
Tip #1 Change your furnace filter
Depending upon the type of furnace filter you have, you will need to either change it or clean it. Protect your indoor air quality by staying on top of this important task. Set a reminder in your phone to change out/clean your filter on a routine basis throughout the winter months when your furnace is running day and night.
Tip #2 Have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned
It is always a good idea to have your HVAC system cleaned and inspected annually. Try and schedule this appointment before you need to start using your furnace on a regular basis. A professional cleaning and inspection will ensure that your unit is running efficiently. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, you also want to have it inspected and your chimney cleaned before you use it for the first time this winter.
Tip #3 Use your exhaust vents and fans
Take advantage of the exhaust vents above your stove and in your bathrooms. Protect your home from mold by running your exhaust fan when taking a shower or hot bath. Use your kitchen exhaust when you are using the stove top. It is extremely important that your kitchen exhaust provides adequate ventilation.
Tip #4 Avoid using scented candles and other fragrances
Many people light scented candles and use products containing chemical fragrances during the winter months to mask the smell of stale air. These products contain hazardous ingredients that are harmful to your health. Instead of freshening up stale indoor air with chemical fragrances, opt for natural air refreshers. Decorate with boughs from pine trees for a woodsy scent. Boil water on the stove containing cinnamon sticks and orange peels for a festive citrusy fragrance.
Tip #5 Take advantage of any opportunity to let in some fresh air
Even in the northern states there are usually a few unseasonably warm days where the temperatures reach comfortable enough levels to crack open a few windows to air out your home. There is no substitute for fresh air. Take advantage of any opportunity you may get over the winter to let some fresh air inside.