With colder weather on the way, most Canadians are asking themselves the same things. How can I keep warm this winter? For many of us, cold weather is no fun. Aside from its ability to bring about fun activities like skating, skiing and snowboarding, the winter also insists that we stay bundled up. Not every Canadian is a fan of winter, as a result. Thankfully, winter is still a few months off. But the time to prepare for it has come!
The only problem is that many of things that we do to keep warm in the winter can actually be bad for our health. In our last blog, we detailed how turning up the furnace or lighting up the fireplace can cause the emission of carbon monoxide into the air. As a result, the indoor air quality of our homes becomes negatively impacted. And worse, our health can be very seriously affected. How can we avoid this?
Here are five ways to not worsen indoor air quality this winter:
1. Don’t warm your car up in the garage. It’s a habit that most Canadians practice. After all, who likes sitting in an ice cold car? Most of us warm up our vehicles before driving them. But this must be done outside. As Dr. Joseph Mercola points out on his website, “carbon monoxide exposure can lead to weakness, nausea, disorientation, unconsciousness and even death. Fumes from cars or lawnmowers left running in enclosed spaces can endanger your health.”
2. Never smoke inside. Admittedly, cigarette smokers have it rough in the winter. They are regularly forced to smoke outdoors so as to not impact their family members and co-workers. Nearly every building you visit is considered a “no smoking” zone. Your house should always be one as well. No matter how cold it gets outside, let the smoker in your family know that smoking indoors is strictly prohibited.
3. Try to avoid chemical-rich household products. Winter usually entails closed windows. And with less fresh air circulating through your home, you’ll want to be careful not to be breathing in the toxic fumes of your everyday household products. “Hair and nail products, cleaning products, and art and hobby supplies can increase the levels of VOCs in your home,” explains Dr. Mercola, “Some of the VOCs in these products have been linked to cancer, headaches, eye and throat irritation and worsened asthma.”
4. Check and maintain your heating system. Quite obviously, you’ll be turning up the heat when the winter comes. But don’t assume that your heating and air conditioning systems have gone the entire summer without any dust or debris build-up. As well, it’s important to remember that your home will need constant cleaning to keep dust at a minimum. You won’t have the luxury of keeping your windows open the way you did during the summer.
Dorit Sasson of HuffingtonPost.com strongly encourages this as an eco-friendly means of improving indoor air quality. “Your home is constantly exposed to dust particles and when your cooling or heating systems are turned on, and this causes instant dust flow,” she writes, “Furnace filters need to be cleaned regularly as well as those from AC units. There are certified technicians who do this all year round.”
5. Take advantage of DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.’s Air Quality Services. We proudly provide our clients with very careful inspections of their homes in order to locate air quality problems that could lead to negative health issues. Before the winter arrives, give yourself the peace of mind in knowing your home’s indoor air quality is the best that it can be. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.