When it comes to caring for your indoor air in the winter, each room needs something a little different.
When the temperature drops, many of us start thinking about how to winterize the outside of our homes to keep the cold air out — but don’t forget about the air that’s inside. If you want cleaner indoor air in the wintertime, keep this guide handy as you prepare your home for the chilly season.
The cool air outside might feel crisp and fresh in winter, but it can still carry airborne particles that negatively impact indoor air quality. Lingering pollen or mold spores from damp leaves and grass can sneak into your entryways on your clothing and shoes. Ensure doors and windows are properly sealed with no openings. Invest in door sweeps for doors that lead outside, remove winter clothing as soon as you come in, and close doors that separate the mudroom from the rest of your house.
When you can’t open a window to circulate air, unwanted airborne particles can build up in your kitchen’s air — especially if you’re cooking with high heat and oil.¹ Make sure to run your exhaust fan whenever you’re cooking on the stovetop or using the oven. Deep clean the inside of your oven and any electric coils on your stove. Burnt food particles can release pollutants when you use the self-cleaning tool on your oven, so give it a scrub with a paste made from baking soda and water.¹
In the winter, your living room is probably filled with extra cozy blankets and pillows. Unfortunately, fabric can harbor pollutants and allergens — especially dust and pet dander.² If you have a furry friend, try to keep them off the furniture, and vacuum your couch and throw pillows weekly to remove dander that settles there.
Like living rooms, bedrooms are filled with fabric that can harbor pollutants — especially carpeting. If the bedrooms in your home are carpeted, make sure to vacuum them weekly and run an air purifier afterward if you have one. Vacuuming can capture some pollutants, but it can also kick them up into the air you breathe — think dust, dander and pollen.3 An air purifier can help keep the air in bedrooms cleaner. Filtrete™ Smart Room Air Purifiers detect and capture 99.97% of airborne particles in rooms up to 310 square feet.*
You might not want to spend time in a chilly basement during the winter, but it’s important to keep an eye on pipes, sealants and your HVAC system. If your pipes freeze, they can burst and lead to mold growth in your home. Some signs to look for are frost on the pipes, poor water pressure or no running water, or sewer smells. It’s also a good idea to do a walkthrough at the beginning of the season to make sure there are no holes in the windows, ceilings or walls. If you feel a draft or see a hole, fill it with spray adhesive or rubber caulk. Lastly, have an HVAC specialist check on your system to make sure it’s operating correctly — no one wants broken heating in the dead of winter!
Just like the basement, your bathroom has lots of pipes to watch. Condensation buildup in moist rooms is more common in the winter because it’s warm and humid inside, but cold and dry outside. Keeping bathroom exhaust fans running at all times can mitigate condensation, and by extension, mold and mildew that hangs out in your indoor air.
Changing your HVAC filter within the timespan indicated on its packaging can improve air quality in your whole house. Filtrete™ Smart Filters use Bluetooth® technology to connect to the Filtrete™ Smart App, which lets you know when it’s time for a change.