Raise your hand if you’ve opened the windows in your home at least once this week. Doesn’t it feel good to let the fresh air in?
The reality of living in Minnesota is that we will spend most of the year with our windows closed – keeping out the heat and humidity in the summer and the wind and cold in the winter. This is why it is so important to take advantage of nice weather and let some fresh air into your house whenever you can, for your sanity and your health!
Since we spend so much time indoors, the quality of our indoor air is very important. Several sources of air pollution are in homes, schools, and offices can cause health problems or worsen allergies. To help keep you and your family comfy and healthy, here are some tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on improving the indoor air quality of your home:
Controlling the sources of pollution: Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air is to eliminate individual sources or reduce their emissions.
Ventilating: Increasing the amount of fresh air brought indoors helps reduce pollutants inside. When weather permits, open windows and doors, or run an air conditioner with the vent control open. Bathroom and kitchen fans that exhaust to the outdoors also increase ventilation and help remove pollutants.
Always ventilate and follow manufacturers’ instructions when you use products or appliances that may release pollutants into the indoor air.
Changing filters regularly: Central heaters and air conditioners have filters to trap dust and other pollutants in the air. Make sure to change or clean the filters regularly, following the instructions on the package.
Adjusting humidity: The humidity inside can affect the concentrations of some indoor air pollutants. For example, high humidity keeps the air moist and increases the likelihood of mold.
Keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent. Use a moisture or humidity gauge, available at most hardware stores, to see if the humidity in your home is at a good level. To increase humidity, use a vaporizer or humidifier. To decrease humidity, open the windows if it is not humid outdoors. If it is warm, turn on the air conditioner or adjust the humidity setting on the humidifier.