5 Tips For A Healthier Home in Winter
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Is Cleaning your home’s Air Ducts Part Of This Year’s Fall Prep?
Could you have a healthier home? Summer is drawing to a close and we now set our sights on cooler weather in the fall season. Because of the cooler weather it’s time to start thinking about turning the furnace back on. Especially since winters in the Chicagoland area can last as long as six months. Which is exactly what happened in the winter of 2013/2014 when we had our first snow in November and our last snow in April. Ugh! With that in mind I would like to provide you with 5 tips on how to make your heating season a cozy and safe one in a healthier home.
Healthy Indoor Air Tip #1 – Clean & Check Your Furnace
Get your furnace ready for the winter. If you haven’t had your furnace cleaned and checked buy a reputable heating contractor in a while, or you just haven’t thought about it yet, pick up the phone and make an appointment with your heating contractor. It will give you peace of mind in the cold months ahead. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and don’t want to call a heating contractor or you just don’t think it’s time to have your furnace checked yet, then at least adhere to the following tips.
Healthy Indoor Air Tip #2 – Install a New Humidifier Filter
If you have a humidifier installed on your furnace, make sure a new pad is installed and the humidifier is running properly. Leaving an old pad in a humidifier can be an unhealthy thing because mold can grow on the pad. As mold grows on the pad, mold spores are released into the air. And then your furnace acts as a mold delivery system to your home. Very unhealthy!
Healthy Indoor Air Tip #3 – Install a New Furnace Filter
Install a new filter in your furnace. Fall is a great time to use as a reminder to change the filter on your furnace. If you have an electronic air cleaner then it’s a good time to clean the cells of the electronic air cleaner. A new, or clean, filter will help keep dust down and provide you with a healthier environment. Not to mention it will help your furnace work more efficiently.
Healthy Indoor Air Tip #4 – Air Out Your Home
Air out your house periodically. When it gets cold out, people tend to keep the windows shut all the time. This creates a very unhealthy environment and your goal should always be for a healthier home. The reason for this is that we have many items in our home that “off gas”. Items such as carpeting, hardwood floors, furniture, dry cleaned clothes, and anything that is made of synthetic chemicals or has synthetic chemicals applied to it off gases. As the windows remain shut, a concentrated amount of these chemicals build up into your home and you and your family continuously inhale them. By airing out the house at least once a week, even in the coldest weather, you will be allowing these chemicals to escape and bring in fresh air into your home. How long should you air out your home each week? A good 20-30 minutes should give ample time to get a decent amount of fresh air into your home to dilute those nasty chemicals. As a side note, don’t just open one window. Instead open a few and create a cross breeze to move the fresh air in and the stale air out. Your lungs and body will thank you.
Healthy Indoor Air Tip #5 – Clean Your Air Ducts
And last but not least, have your air ducts cleaned. If you are due for a duct cleaning (we recommend approximately every 3 to 5 years or after any major remodeling) then pick up the phone, call 1-800-66-DUCTS (800-663-8287) and schedule an air duct cleaning appointment today for a healthier home. Remember, the air ducts are the transportation system for all the air you and your family breathe. They are like the lungs of your house. Over time dust, dirt, mold spores, animal dander, construction debris, and who-knows-what-else, accumulate in your home’s air ducts.
So don’t make winter in your home unbreathable. By following the tips I have provided here you can make the long (or hopefully not so long) winter months much more tolerable, and make the indoor air in your home cleaner, fresher and healthier for you and your family.
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