We all associate winter with delicious-smelling air – a wood fire, chocolate cookies baking, and refreshing pine. The best way to enjoy all these smells is to consider air quality first. Winter contaminants make the air less fresh, often without our knowledge. So, what can we do to ensure the wholesome enjoyment of seasonal air while staying healthy and happy? Here are ten steps to keep your home air fresh this winter:
1. Cozy Up Sustainably
It’s tempting to burn wood in the fireplace because the aesthetic looks, smells, and sounds like winter. However, avoid burning wood to keep ash and smoke out of your home and the environment.
Instead, opt for cozy blankets or robes to keep you extra toasty, or research electric fireplaces that require no real wood-burning to provide the atmosphere you crave.
2. Audit Temperature Regulation
The house’s inner workings keep the air fresh while keeping households warm. Before the season begins, schedule inspections for all of these home areas that affect temperature:
Temperature regulation is vital to clean air, as extreme environments affect comfort, humidity, and the spread of contaminants.
3. Replace Your Filters
Changing air filters seems like an arduous task until it’s complete – then you realize it’s easier than a lot of other home tasks. Filters are one of the most significant players in improving indoor air quality. Air filters remove contaminants from your home’s air, and some are even specifically designed for allergen reduction.
4. Check Your Scented Goods
Oils, candles, and incense sticks are timeless holiday gifts, especially when you’re nesting indoors for an entire season when the air could get a little stale. However, artificial scents can release chemicals or pollutants when burned. Instead, choose natural fragrances and ingredients like soy or beeswax so the home smells and feels good.
5. Cover Cool Surfaces
If your home has hardwood floors or laminate, it might be time to dress them with warm area rugs. Covering cool surfaces helps keep the air clean because heating systems have to work overtime to compensate for the heat loss cool surfaces cause.
These additions will require additional cleaning to keep the air fresh – especially if your home has pets – but the added temperature regulation and decorative charm will make up for it.
6. Reduce Common Pollutants
Winter brings opportunities for releasing common pollutants. Increasing awareness of what activities cause it can improve air quality. These include:
- Using combustion appliances like wood-burning stoves
- Overusing chemical-based products like cleaning agents
- Smoking indoors to avoid the cold
7. Keep Things Dry
Extra moisture increases humidity, encouraging the growth of mold and mildew. Plus, it helps the spread of bacteria and illness. Dry winter air is a side effect homeowners want to avoid, so ensure you strike an appropriate moisture balance.
Keep air circulating to prevent stagnation with methods like reversing the direction of ceiling-fan blades. You can also purchase humidifiers and smart monitors for more optimized regulation.
8. Prevent Air From Leaving And Coming In
Sometimes it’s nice to circulate the air by opening the windows – if it isn’t too cold. However, air quality management relies on keeping clean air contained and pollutants outdoors. Go around the home and locate leaks and drafts from windows, doors, and walls.
Closing even the most minor crack could save an entire room. Consider these options for keeping polluted air out and fresh air in:
- Blackout blinds and curtains
- Insulator kits
- Storm doors
9. Embrace Greenery
Wreaths and trees may make a space comfy, but did you know that greenery can also purify the air? Biophilic design – optimizing your home with plants and natural materials – can keep the air fresh while adding interior design charm. Consider these air-purifying plants for ideal air quality:
- Aloe vera
- Weeping fig
- Golden pothos
- Money plant
- Rubber plant
10. Avoid Remodeling Unless It’s Necessary
Renovations release numerous airborne pollutants, such as wood dust and paint fumes. Therefore, avoid renovations unless they’re truly necessary. After reviewing the home’s heating systems, you may find them essential.
If so, consider eco-friendly home heating systems like hydronic or geothermal energy. Because they are renewable, they heat your home without affecting air quality.
Cozy And Clean Air For Winter
To have fresh air for the season, follow these steps to increase air quality, health, and comfort. Not every step is essential, but the more strategies a household uses, the better the air is. The benefit of winter air-purifying strategies is that some translate into year-round practices. So, get started now to have long-lasting benefits throughout the home.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.