Eight ways to improve winter air quality in your Maryland home
Dust. Mold. Dead skin. Pet dander. Toxic cleaners. Formaldehyde-filled furniture and construction supplies.
An increasingly airtight American home is full of pollutants like these – contaminants that strain indoor air quality, particularly during the overly dry, window-closing winter months.
While indoor pollution may be especially harmful for the youngest and oldest of us – along with people vulnerable to respiratory problems – regular exposure to it can be harmful to anyone over time. Even the EPA recognizes that improving indoor air quality is a key to good health.
But how do you actually improve indoor air quality? Here are eight good ways to get you started.
- Keep floors clean – Carpets are a hotbed of pollutants and allergens, so make sure to vacuum them with a HEPA filter once a week. Don’t skip the hardwoods, either: mop them frequently with white vinegar and water.
- Choose healthier cleaners – Most stores carry eco-friendly cleaning products, so do a little hunting. Better yet, make your own – vinegar and baking soda are great natural cleaning agents that cut grease, clean drains, kill germs, and more.
- Avoid chemical odorants – Aerosol disinfectants and chemical air fresheners are full of toxins; opt for essential oils with a diffuser instead. If you use candles, choose soy or beeswax-based varieties scented only with pure essential oils.
- Control humidity – Dry winter air can cause problems ranging from dry, irritated skin and increased allergic responses to greater incidence of asthma and even furniture damage. To avoid these problems, keep indoor humidity in the 30 to 60 percent range. The best way to do that? See #8 below.
- Ventilate – Once a week, open windows and turn on fans to freshen the air and let out some of the pollutants that have accumulated in your home.
- Add plants – Plants suck toxic chemicals through their leaves, and plant roots and soil bacteria remove trace levels of toxic vapors. They look great, too!
- Maintain your heating system – If you have a forced air heating system (one with vents rather than baseboards), professional maintenance will help keep allergens and other pollutants from accumulating in ducts and circulating throughout your Maryland home. Check your heating system’s filter once per month, cleaning or changing it when necessary. Consider having your ducts cleaned, too.
- Invest in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions – A whole house humidifier or dehumidifier will keep air at healthy moisture levels to discourage mold and mildew growth. Germicidal UV lights will kill most airborne bacteria and virtually all airborne mold spores. A whole house air cleaner is also a great way to improve air quality in your home.
Breathe easier this winter with indoor air quality solutions and expert heating system maintenance from Carroll Home Services. Contact us today to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on indoor air quality equipment installations in your Maryland home!