We’re all familiar with the dangers of outdoor air pollution, but did you know that it’s possible to experience air pollution indoors? It’s true. The air inside your home can be polluted by a variety of different contaminants including mold, tobacco smoke, household products, gases, and building materials.
Poor air quality can be a significant health concern. Pollutants such as pollen and smoke can cause allergies to flare up, while more toxic contaminants like carbon monoxide or asbestos can put you and your family at serious risk. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollution can produce chronic symptoms of fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, and respiratory irritation, so it’s a good idea to monitor your home air quality. These six tips can help you prevent indoor air pollution during the winter season, when windows tend to remain shut and air circulation from outdoor breezes comes to a standstill.
1. Make sure your HVAC duct system is clean and running efficiently. Dirty ductwork can produce contaminated airflow that contributes to indoor air pollution.
2. Check your air filters. Air filters should be changed once a month, but it is a chore that is often forgotten. Over time, filters collect large quantities of dust, pollen, and other allergens that get distributed throughout your home on air currents.
3. Keep carpets and floors clean. Carpeting can trap contaminants of all kinds, especially things like dust and pet dander. Vacuum once a week and consider investing in a steam cleaner.
4. Cool it with the humidifier. If your skin is sensitive to dry winter air, you may be tempted to crank up the humidifier to avoid chapped and cracking skin. However, overly humid air is a breeding ground for contaminants like mold and mildew.
5. Weather and temperature permitting, open a few windows around the house at least once a week. Getting even a small amount of fresh air flowing through your home can do wonders for keeping air pollution in check.
6. Buy a couple houseplants. Not only will the greenery brighten up your home during the dark, sunless days of winter, but the extra oxygen they release has also been proven to purify the air, keeping it fresh and breathable all winter long.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your indoor air pollution, call Bonfe to schedule an air quality assessment . One of our indoor air quality specialists will diagnose sources of trouble and make recommendations for how to prevent pollution in the future.