Maintaining a healthy atmosphere in the home is a never-ending quest for every homeowner! Poor indoor quality, due to permeation of allergens and pollutants, is known to have a significant impact on both health and mood.
However, the problem worsens during winter when cold weather requires us to keep all doors and windows shut at all times. We ensure that our home is entirely air-tight through insulation and even seal cracks or small openings to prevent cold drafts! However, in doing so, what we don’t recognize is that our indoor air quality is compromised with reduced ventilation (not to mention that proper air circulation is the first requisite to keeping indoor air clean).
Indoor Sources Of Pollutants
Since our home has multiple sources of pollution, restricted air ventilation leads to the buildup of pollutants in the air in our homes. Some of the common causes include poorly maintained household appliances where incomplete combustion happens, such as wood-burning or other stoves, water heaters, dryers, and fireplaces. Other sources are building materials and furnishings as well as household cleaning and personal care products. Many home improvement activities, such as painting and welding, also lead to poor indoor air quality.
Outdoor pollutants such as pollen and pesticides can hitch a ride into your home by attaching themselves to people and pets. Animal dander, allergens, and other particles present on your pet’s body also deteriorate the indoor air quality as they get released!
The Best Ways To Clean And Freshen Up Your Indoor Air
Fortunately, knowing the sources of pollutants and taking steps to control them can help improve indoor air quality. Here is a list of some simple tasks that you can do to ensure a healthy environment in your home throughout the winter.
• Clean regularly and carefully. Use a damp cloth to wipe off surfaces and also vacuum your carpets and upholstery to prevent the buildup of mold, dust mites, pet dander, and pollen.
• Check the filters of your furnaces regularly and replace them if they are covered in dust and debris. This ensures that the air flowing in your home is not contaminated.
• Swap your cleaning products with ones that do not contain toxic ingredients. This will free your home from harmful chemical fumes.
• Wash your bedding at least once every week. To ensure a thorough clean, use a quality de-mite laundry additive in hot water. Also, keep your mattresses and pillows covered in dust mite-proof encasings.
• If you are planning to undertake any home improvement project or any hobbies, always choose low- or no-VOC products when possible. Alternatively, you can hold off such tasks (if not urgent) till spring when you’ll be able to open the windows.
• Routinely air out and clean the areas of your home prone to mold. The kitchen, bathroom, basement, and other such areas, where moisture tends to build up, should be ventilated regularly. Run fans and exhausts to avoid excess accumulation of humidity and also to get rid of potentially toxic fumes released by stove and oven. Clean out the regions where you notice active mold growth.
• Use HEPA air purifiers to remove particulate pollutants and contaminants from your indoor air. Choose the system that features carbon filters to ensure that your purifier also filters gases, odors, and fumes. This will help remove stuffy air from your home.
• Mother Nature has the best air purifier in the form of plants. Hence, consider placing a few indoor plants as they can absorb toxins from your atmosphere and can improve indoor air quality. However, be mindful of the fact that mold can grow around plants, particularly ones that are watered frequently.
Aside from all the above tasks, it is also important to keep your home appliances in top shape to ensure that they do not emit harmful fumes. If you have any plumbing, heating, or air conditioning service concerns, trust Snell Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning for all your needs. We provide quality and timely services across Maryland. For more information or to request a free estimate, give us a call at 301-459-5888 today!