While it’s important to seal up the house against the cold during the winter months, the stale indoor environment causes some problems with my allergies.
The dry air and lack of fresh air coming in increases the amount of dust mites, med dander, mold spores and VOCs circulating through the house.
From late fall, throughout the winter and during most of spring, the outdoor temperature is too chilly to open the windows. Most of the contaminants are odorless and impossible to see. The only way I realize there are issues is because of the systems they trigger. I might have trouble sleeping, feel fatigued and sluggish and suffer from sneezing, coughing, headaches, sore throat and itchy eyes. I’ve attempted to improve indoor air quality by regularly replacing air filters, scheduling professional heating/cooling maintenance and keeping a clean house. I make sure to vacuum the carpets once or twice a week with a vacuum cleaner outfitted with a HEPA filter. I have removed most of the carpets in the house and installed ceramic tile that is easier to keep clean. I regularly launder bedding and drapes in hot water. I’ve purchased covers that are supposed to protect against dust mites for all pillows, mattresses and box springs. I am careful not to have clutter on any of my shelves or countertops that might trap dust. Every few years, I schedule duct cleaning. A licensed HVAC technician uses what looks like a gigantic vacuum cleaner hose and brush to remove the buildup of pollutants inside the pipes. I’ve just recently added an ionic air purifier that works to capture airborne irritants, kill pathogens and remove odors.