The winter months can be difficult to get through as colder temperatures and shorter days limit what you can do outdoors. However, spending time indoors can be tough too because cooler temperatures can render air drier and tougher on your skin. If you have breathing issues, you may also notice that the winter months are tougher than the rest of the year. However, there are steps that you take to improve the air you breathe at home.

1. Keep a Humidifier Handy

Perhaps the easiest way to improve indoor air quality when the temperatures start to plummet is to use a humidifier. You can either choose to buy a portable product or have one installed that can work across your entire home. While a whole-home humidifier will create consistency in every room of the house, they also tend to be more expensive. Therefore, most people will opt for a humidifier in the bedroom or other areas they tend to spend the most time in.

2. Have Your Heating System Inspected and Cleaned

Your heating system can have a significant impact on indoor air quality as it is responsible for creating and sending warm air throughout the house. If a furnace is dirty or defective in any way, it may have a hard time fully combusting, which can allow gas to leak throughout your home.

A dirty furnace will also send air contaminated with dirt, dust or other types of grime through your air ducts and vents. Of course, cleaning the furnace isn’t going to do much good if you have ducts or vents that are covered in airborne pollutants. Therefore, be sure to have them cleaned every few years to remove mold, dust or anything else that you wouldn’t want to breathe.

The folks at Air Authority, A Riteway Service Company in San Antonio will happily come to your home to inspect or clean heating system components. Our team will also be happy to clean your ducts and take other steps to improve the air quality in your house.

3. Don’t Smoke in the House

As much as you may like to smoke, it can be a hassle to do so when it’s cold outside. However, while it may be tempting to smoke indoors, it can wreak havoc on the air quality inside of your home. This is because smoke particles tend to linger in the air longer than other types of pollutants, which means that they can do damage for a longer period of time.

Furthermore, they tend to mix into furniture, carpets and other surfaces that they do land on. Therefore, you might have to replace living room carpet, strip the paint off of walls or refinish your furniture to get smoke particles and their smell out of your house. In some cases, smoke will cause damage to drywall and interior surfaces, which compounds the amount of time and money needed to improve air quality and the overall condition of your property.

4. Dust and Sweep Often

In addition to being tough on your skin, dry air can turn dust into a source of static electricity. This means that accidentally grazing your cellphone or computer screen could give you a nasty shock. You may also be at risk of getting a shock just by putting a sweater on or taking off a wool hat after coming in from outside.

Static electricity can also have negative effects on electronics themselves. However, you can avoid these and other issues by simply sweeping floors and dusting around your home on a regular basis. It should only take a few minutes to get rid of the majority of the dust, and you can make the process even easier by getting a broom or vacuum with an extended or flexible handle.

5. Clean the Carpets

Carpeted surfaces can become breeding grounds for dirt, moisture and other items that can eventually make their way into the air. Each time that you walk across a carpet, you are likely kicking up whatever is trapped inside of it into the air, which can cause breathing issues for yourself, your kids and anyone else who shares the home.

It’s generally a good idea to clean a carpet immediately after a wine, soda or juice spill. This is because allowing liquids to seep into the fibers and pad can create conditions ripe for mold or mildew growth. Mold or mildew can easily spread throughout the house if it is allowed to get into the air. These hazardous materials can also create a powerful and offensive odor that can make it difficult to spend even a few minutes indoors.

6. Consider an Air Purifier

While a humidifier can help by adding moisture to the air, it can’t remove particles that make it hard for you or your family to breathe. However, an air purifier can help to get rid of dust, pet dander and anything else that might irritate your lungs or skin. As with a humidifier, you can get purifiers that are designed for specific spaces or purchase one that will work throughout your entire home.

7. Don’t Hesitate to Open a Door or Window

Allowing the cold air into your home may be the last thing that you’d think of doing during the winter months. However, leaving a door or window slightly ajar for a few minutes can help with indoor ventilation issues. In other words, taking such action makes it easier for fresh outdoor air to replace the contaminated air that is stagnating inside your house. Adding attic vents or replacing insulation are other methods that you can use to improve ventilation without having to keep anything open.

8. Plants Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Plants can act as natural air purifiers because they trap gasses, dust and other pollutants in their leaves. In return, they will release clean air into the house that smells better and is less likely to cause health issues when you breathe it. In addition, plants can be great for your mental health because they add a splash of color to your house that can provide a contrast to the gray skies outside.

9. Groom Your Pets

Your pets will also be more likely to spend the majority of their days inside during the cold season. Therefore, they are more likely to shed or otherwise contaminate indoor air. Spending extra time brushing or trimming their coats can minimize the amount of stuff that gets into the air. You should also wash their beds or anything else that they come into contact with on a more frequent basis during the winter.

If you are looking for indoor air quality solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the folks at Air Authority, A Riteway Service Company today. In addition to cleaning air ducts and installing air purification systems, we can also repair your home’s air conditioner, add insulation to your home or put in a new thermostat. We also offer maintenance plans to help keep your property running at peak efficiency throughout the year.

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