Keeping a Home Healthy in Winter
If the COVID-19 pandemic has had any positives, the chief among them must be that we are all now far more aware of our health and the need to protect it. Exercise, a proper diet, and reducing stress are among the well-known factors in protecting our physical well-being. What is often overlooked is the role of indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ is the air we breathe when we are indoors and if it is not clean and fresh, neither is our metabolism. Architects and builders have, for some years now, been making good IAQ an integral part of building design and construction. The problem is that there is often a gap between what the IAQ should be and what it actually is. This gap widens further in the colder months when windows are not kept open and the air in the house is not refreshed regularly. When the IAQ is low, the air that we breathe in the home is full of pollutants, germs and bacteria, odors (which the family gets used to and does not notice), and moisture. This leads to a higher risk of infections and a greater chance of falling sick. There are a few simple actions you can take to make your home a healthier place in winter.
Chemicals are everywhere and while most of them are not dangerous, some are. From household cleaners to polishes, many have chemicals that are not good for our health and which may be absorbed by the air in the house. The home must be clean and well-maintained, so the use of these products is required. What we need to do, is to check the label on everything that comes into the house to be sure that dangerous chemicals are not part of the composition.
Appliances like water heaters, boilers, furnaces, gas dryers, etc. give off exhaust fumes that can be sucked back into the house making the IAQ unsafe. Ensure that these appliances are in those parts of the home that are isolated so that the risk of the exhaust entering the home is kept to a minimum. The best option is to use appliances with a sealed combustion unit which draws in air from the outside and vents the exhaust into the open air without any chance of it blowing back into the house.
Read also: The Importance of Ventilation at Home
Ventilation is a key factor in maintaining good IAQ. In winter, when windows are kept closed, this becomes a problem. Opening the windows will help but refreshing the indoor air will take a long time and that will allow the cold air to enter and bring down the comfortable indoor temperature. A whole house fan is the best way to keep indoors fresh and clean. It will blow the stale unhealthy air out of the home and bring in fresh outdoor air through a few windows that need to be opened only for a short while so that the indoor temperature is not affected. A good whole house fan will be energy efficient and the cost of running it will be insignificant. Contact a whole house fan dealer to learn more about the benefits of having a whole house fan, both in summer and winter.
- Oct 21, 2020