Being cooped up in your Berlin, Maryland, home during the winter can drive any family a little stir-crazy. Add indoor air quality problems, and you have one extremely uncomfortable winter experience waiting for spring to come so you can open your windows. Here are some of the top winter indoor air quality concerns and how you can address them.
The first thing you likely think of when it comes to air pollution are outdoor causes such as car exhaust, but there are sources of air pollution inside your home, as well. For instance, any fuel-combustion sources in your home that provide heat can also pollute the interior air. Other sources of air pollution include smoking cigarettes, vaping, and using your fireplace.
While you still have to use your gas furnace and other fuel-combustion sources in the winter, you can take certain steps to combat air pollution. One of the most important things to do is to have your heating system serviced regularly. Problems with your furnace, such as venting issues, can make your indoor air pollution worse. It’s also a good idea to have carbon monoxide and radon gas detectors installed in your home. You’ll also want to limit anyone that smokes to smoking outdoors to help maintain the air quality in your home.
Dust and Dirt
Even when your home is surrounded by snow in the winter, dust and dirt can still get tracked into your home. You can bring these items into the house on your clothing and shoes. Your home might also harbor leftover dirt and dust from when you had your windows open during the warm months. Once the heater starts working, the dust that had been hidden behind your curtains or under the furniture by a vent can float through your home.
The best way to tackle dust and dirt is to do a thorough cleaning to remove it. Consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which not only sucks the dirt off the floor and other surfaces but also keeps it trapped inside the filter. Other vacuums might let the smaller particles back out into your home’s air. Be sure to vacuum any surfaces you can’t throw in the washing machine, such as couch cushions that can absorb dust.
It can also be beneficial to have your furnace and ducts cleaned to remove any dust and dirt that circulates in your home. Changing the air filter in your furnace can improve your air quality as well as help your furnace run more efficiently. Also, cleaning your ductwork can remove dust and dirt that has been lurking around your home.
Cleaning Supplies and Other Harsh Chemicals
Have you ever used a candle or air freshener to try to get rid of the stuffy smell or feeling in your home during the winter? While it might help your home smell better, it can also negatively impact your indoor air quality. Cleaning supplies and other harsh chemicals can release volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which are harmful to your health.
To help prevent issues from cleaning supplies and other noxious chemicals, be sure to have proper ventilation when using them. Crack a window to bring in fresh air for a short period. You can also look for products designed to have few or no VOCs.
Your Pets and Their Dander
Yes, your beloved pet could be causing your home to have poor air quality. Both fur and dander can contribute to these issues in the cold months. The good news is you don’t have to say goodbye to your pet to get relief. Your pets are your family, and you couldn’t imagine having to keep them outside in the cold, especially in deep winter. Vacuum often to help prevent their fur and dander from becoming air quality concerns in your home. Brush and bathe your long-haired dogs and cats regularly, as well.
Do you need assistance with your home’s indoor air quality? Contact our professional staff at Griffith Energy Services by calling us today. Let us help you breathe more comfortably this winter.
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