With winter, snow, and bad weather comes staying indoors, sealing doors and windows, fireplace air and less humidity. That cozy feeling can lead to stuffy people with sick housemates and germ-filled air. The germ ridden air is actually always there, it’s just magnified during the winter months.
With the windows closed and the heat recirculating the same air over and over, the allergens never get a chance to leave the home or be cleared out.
Here are some times to keep your home healthy during the winter months:
- Check humidity levels. Optimum is 30%, ideal is below 50%. Be sure to open windows on nice days, turn on a fan when doing laundry or running the dishwasher.
- Use disinfectant cleaners. Bacteria, germs and viruses thrive in warm environments and most people are susceptible to the germs within the first thirty minutes of coming in from the cold due to the slowed immune response. Wipe down counters, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, telephones, computer keyboards, tv remotes and any other surfaces people are touching.
- Replace filters. Dirty filters allow mold, mildew and other allergens a place to grow and then spread through your home when the forced air is turned on. Don’t forget the vacuum filters, water system filters, a/c and heating filters, and refrigerator water filters.
- Certain plants filter the air around us naturally. Plants remove CO2 and add fresh oxygen to the air. Check with your local garden center on which ones help with this, but some ideas are aloe vera, spider plants, snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (works great in bathroom low-light and humidity), golden pothos ivy (works great in a garage to remove all those exhaust fumes), weeping fig (ficus) trees, any of the dracaena family of plants, chinese evergreen plant, and peace lilies (they do great in shady corners and weekly watering).
- Let fresh air in. Once or twice a day, morning and night, open a window for 5 to 10 minutes to let fresh air in.
Sonja Bush is a local Realtor in Mammoth Lakes ready to help you buy or sell your home. She specializes in Short Sale and Foreclosures, Vacation Homes and Resort and Second Home properties. Email Sonja today at [email protected] or call her at 661-979-9000.