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Indoor Air Quality in Winter

Male pushing a clean air filter into place in the ceiling with both hands. One fresh furnace air filter being secured in the intake grid of the white home ceiling.

Tips to help keep homes clean and fresh

Winter has definitely arrived! We go from sunny 50-degree days to stormy days when the thermometer can plummet to temperatures below zero.  And when the winter winds start (or even threaten) to howl, one of the first things you may think of is your heating system. It is also natural to want to close your home up tightly to avoid drafts. To stay warm and to avoid wasting energy, you close the windows – or even seal them with window film – and you find ways to stop cold air from leaking in through cracks and under doors. But when those instincts kick in, remember that what you are also doing is sealing air inside your home.

Here are some tips to help keep homes clean and fresh:

  • Remove out the old furnace filter, vacuum the intake grill, and replace the filter regularly (at least once per month). A clean filter allows the furnace to run more efficiently and puts out cleaner air.
  • Dust and vacuum often. Consider using a vacuum with a built-in allergen or HEPA filter, which allows one to clean floors and surfaces while putting less dust back in the air (from the vacuum exhaust).
  • Filter allergens by changing the filters in your vacuum regularly, to reduce the number of allergens and other particles released into the air. “Filtrete” vacuum filters, made by 3M, for example, have been shown to optimize vacuum durability and suction, keeping the home cleaner by trapping dust. The filters are available at many retailers, and for nearly all brands and models of vacuum cleaners.
  • When dusting, do so with microfiber towels and dusters. Such products attract dust, which cling to the fibers instead of simply becoming airborne or dropping back to the ground.
  • Ventilate the home. It may seem counterintuitive, but occasionally let the outside air in. On a nice day, briefly open windows (even for only 5 minutes). This helps indoor air circulate with outdoor air, and results in a fresher environment.
  • Go natural. Consider switching to natural and organic cleaning products that don’t release dangerous chemicals or materials into the home’s air.
  • Bathe and brush pets regularly. Pets’ coats are often loaded with dirt and dander that scatters around the house and can contribute to poor indoor air quality. To avoid this problem, brush and bathe pets regularly.

If you’re having problems with mold or mildew, give us a call. We’re happy to provide a mold assessment for free. Tackling any problems now, before they get big, can save you money later.