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As winter temperatures creep in, colds and seasonal allergies are on the rise. It’s a conundrum that affects millions of people at the beginning of every winter season: You no longer need your air conditioner, so instead you crack your windows and doors and let mother nature do your cooling for you. But while this allows you to invite in the cool breezes, fresh air and pleasant sights and sounds of the neighborhood, it also makes way for some potentially irritating uninvited guests, such as pollen and dust. So, what can you do to improve the indoor air quality of your home during the cooler months?
Try the Fan Instead
If you still want that breeze, but don’t want to expose yourself to the outside air, using the fan setting on your air conditioning system can be a great way to strike that balance. The built-in filter will help to cut down on pollutants while the fan setting will ensure that you’re still getting some of that crisp outside air.
Use an Air Filter
If you want to sleep with the windows open and the fan just doesn’t cut it, you could consider a stand-alone air filter. Using a high-efficiency air filter in your bedroom can be a great way to cut down on pollen and other allergy-aggravating pollutants while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoor breeze.
Keep your Home Clean
Anytime you open your windows, you are exposing yourself to allergens. However, you can still fight off pesky pollen and irritants simply by keeping your living space as clean as possible. Pollen likes to settle into your carpets and upholstery, so make sure you are vacuuming regularly and keeping your sheets and living room furniture nice and tidy. It also doesn’t hurt to dust often, especially around your window sills and door frames where a stiff gust of wind can easily stir up allergens and send them streaming into your home.
Dogs and cats—whether you keep them inside or out—are like magnets for pollen, dust and dirt, which makes them walking allergy machines. If you have allergies, keeping your pets’ fur squeaky clean can go a long way toward preventing flare-ups. It also helps to keep them off the bed, couch and other places where allergens can be easily transmitted.
Decorating your home with air purifying plants like Aloe, English Ivy and Bamboo Palm can seriously improve the air quality in your home. These plants help by breathing in toxins and breathing out fresh air. They’re also easy to take care of and make great decorations. Aloe can also act as a sort of air quality alarm, since it displays brown spots when pollution levels are especially high.
If you’re ever in doubt, the best thing to do is simply keep your doors and windows closed. But if you keep these common air quality solutions in mind this winter, you’ll have a much better shot of fighting off seasonal allergies even with the doors and windows open. So, keep the place tidy, fire up that air filter and enjoy that cool, fresh winter air in peace!
About Neighbors – Your Ames Air Conditioning Experts:
Neighbors Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Geothermal & Radon has been family owned and operated since 1986. Specializing in home comfort solutions and expert heating and cooling services in the central Iowa area, Neighbors is your first choice for heating, radon and geothermal cooling in Ames, IA.