When temperatures cool down, shutting your windows can help you save on energy costs. But what’s good for your comfort (and your wallet) isn’t always good for your indoor air quality. Along with heated air, a tightly sealed home also traps moisture and airborne contaminants known to trigger respiratory issues.
So what can you do to improve indoor air quality?
- Open your windows whenever possible. Fresh air, even when it’s cold, displaces stale air and makes breathing that much easier. Keep an eye on the weather, humidity and air quality (e.g., pollen and pollution) to pinpoint the best times to open the house up.
- Develop a cleaning routine. Vacuum carpets and rugs and change bedding at least once a week to reduce dust and pet dander. And try to reduce clutter to prevent dust accumulation.
- Change air filters regularly. As air travels through your heating system, dust, dander and other unwanted contaminants are filtered out. If your filter is allowed to clog, these contaminants can be recirculated throughout your home and potentially damage your system.
- Set your thermostat to circulate. This setting allows the fan to operate continuously or intermittently to improve air circulation and filtration. If this setting isn’t available, kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans can be used to help remove stale air from the home.
- Invest in air purification. Houseplants are an affordable means of natural air purification. But without proper care, houseplants can also foster mold growth and irritate allergies. If these problems sound familiar, consider purchasing an air purifier and a dehumidifier to reduce unwanted allergens and moisture.
For the best results, filters should be changed every 30 to 90 days.
And as always: Professional maintenance will help keep your HVAC system functioning smoothly.
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