The cold season brings many concerns related to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and allergens. With temperatures cooling down across the country, IAQ will also worsen. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air can be two to five times worse than the air outside, and if you are like most Americans, you can spend up to 90% of your time indoors.
Since there is no real cure for allergies, those who suffer must learn to manage with proper prevention. Here are five quick tips to help you make it through the winter with healthier indoor air.
1. Vacuum daily with an advanced filtration vacuum.
An advanced filtration vacuum will capture a high percentage of dust and allergens, leaving the air healthier as you clean. Many ProTeam vacuums feature Four Level Filtration which sifts out harmful particles down to a microscopic size.
2. Remove dust from all horizontal surfaces.
Regular dusting, vacuuming, and surface cleaning can reduce the accumulation of dust mites, pollens and pet dander. Ridding an environment of these triggers can help dramatically improve air quality for all building occupants.
3. Change the furnace filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
Purchase furnace filters with pleated electrostatic components that help significantly with IAQ and allergens. While they will help control the particles in your air, changing your filter regularly (every 30-60 days) also gives you a strong leg up!
4. Watch the humidity level in your environment.
High humidity levels promote the growth of mold and the proliferation of dust mites. Too low and nasal passages become irritated due to the dry air. Strive for a humidity level between 30-50%.
5. Choose cleaning supplies that are environmentally friendly.
A good rule of thumb to remember is – if it isn’t good for the environment at large, it probably is not good for you to breathe either! Strong chemical smells can irritate sensitive nasal passages.
6. Keep indoor plants.
All plants create oxygen, and are a healthy addition to any indoor environment. Certain varieties of plants also filter out harmful indoor pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia. Click here for NASA’s list of the best air-filtering indoor plants, and add a little more green to improve your IAQ this winter and year-round.