As many homeowners keep their windows shut during the winter, they’re inadvertently suppressing the air quality inside the home.
With a clean oxygen source cut off, you’re left with a stuffy indoor environment full of dust mites, pet hair and other pollutants. This exposure to ‘bad’ air can lead to skin irritation, allergies, asthma and even serious respiratory problems in extreme cases.
This is why a sufficient ventilation strategy is imperative, especially during a cold period when windows are often closed to preserve heat. To improve the air quality in your home this winter, here are three tips to consider.
Recognise Household Contributors
Equipment such as the gas stove, boilers,paraffin heaters and open fires are all pollutants. Likewise, aerosol sprays and paint solvents can linger in the air and deposit chemical residues around the home.
Many people also don’t realise that completing ordinary household chores can be a primary cause of indoor air pollution. Using cleaning products, cooking oil, air fresheners and scented candles are typical examples.
Prolonged use of these general household appliances will decrease air quality over time, affecting young children and the elderly in particular. Remember this during the cold winter months when fumes are less likely to be recycled. Curtail their usage if possible.
Carpets and rugs will notoriously trap dust, so too curtains and living room furniture. Neglect your cleaning duties and indoor air quality will inevitably suffer. You’ll even provide a breeding ground for mites, who thrive on unclean mattresses especially.
Dust mites are a problem because their decomposing bodies produce proteins that trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Because of this, it’s imperative thorough cleaning is made on a regular basis.
However, the most efficient way to rid your home of dust is to stop it amassing in the first place. Mechanised fans and air vents can be useful, but are expensive and can become clogged up with dust themselves. With a natural ventilation system, you’re drawing air from a natural source so ongoing maintenance isn’t required.
There are plenty of quick fix methods to improve your air quality. For example, use non-toxic cleaning products or refrain from smoking indoors. You could also purchase air-purifying houseplants – such as dracaena, aloe vera or bamboo – to remove harmful pollutants.
In the colder temperatures, it’s likely we’ll shut windows and turn up the thermostat. This inadvertently generates a warm, humid environment – a prime cause of mould. Again, proper ventilation prevents this from forming.
In the UK, an estimated 21 million people suffer from allergies, many of which are intensified by bad indoor air quality. Prevention is better than cure, so addressing any source of bad air is an important first step. Combining this with a natural ventilation solution will guarantee your home remains dust-free and improves air quality on a long-term basis.
Not sure what a natural ventilation system is? We explain it all here.