One of the unavoidable realities of winter is the complete lack of natural ventilation. The moment mercury slides below optimum levels of comfort, most people would shut their windows and doors, many will rework the insulation and some will not venture outdoors to get some fresh air. Natural ventilation can render heaters ineffective and there is a definite adverse effect on energy conservation. However, natural ventilation is also the only way you can ensure the stale and polluted air inside your home gets replaced by fresh and healthy air. Since you cannot help but winter proof your home, there are some remedies you must endorse to improve indoor air quality.
- Start with the HVAC unit. If you have vents, clean them thoroughly. You can use the wand of your vacuum cleaner. Vents are often neglected and they can be a treasure-trove of dust and innumerable pollutants. You don’t want the heater to re-circulate the same polluted and dust laden air, albeit warmed to a desired extent.
- Clean the blades of your ceiling fan. Many people don’t use their ceiling fans through the winter months. As a result, the dust accumulated on the blades remains there till it is time for some spring cleaning. The pollutants trapped in the dust will get released and circulated throughout your home, even if you don’t use the ceiling fan. Clean it thoroughly.
- Set the ceiling fan to run clockwise so you can use it to create an updraft. This can be helpful during winter to circulate the warm air to every nook and corner of your room and house. While running a fan may not seem practical in winter, having it run clockwise will actually reduce the stress on the heater. You can program the thermostat to run at a few degrees lower than usual while enjoying the same comfort.
- Cleaning the vents may not be sufficient if you have ducts loaded with allergens. Normal cleaning doesn’t really get rid of allergens and other microbes. Hire a professional to clean your ductwork. They would not only use special vacuums but also spray disinfectants and cleanse the ductwork.
- Always use clean filters. This is not specific to winter but also spring and summer. Just as humans, pets will also spend a lot of time indoors during winter. This will result in more pet hair, skin cells and dander. Filters can get clogged up quickly and that will affect the efficiency of the appliances as well.
- Use an air filter in your house. No matter how much you try and what you do, pollutants will find their way into your home and the only way to ensure you have clean breathable air is to have a purifier. Use purifiers that have HEPA filters and ultraviolet light to adequately cleanse the indoor air.