Indoor air pollution and household dust are year-round concerns, but during the winter months they can create a particular challenge.
There are really two reasons why indoor air quality in the winter is different than the other seasons. First, during the winter your house is sealed off from the outside world, at least from an airflow perspective.
Yes, through the hot summer months you will likely seal up the house and run the air conditioner, but during the winter your home is closed up more than any other season. Even on winter afternoons, when temperatures tend to reach their highest, it’s usually too cold to open the windows.
This means that dust and other airborne contaminants are stuck in the house. The air-tight nature of a home is enhanced during the winter through the use of weather stripping and plastic window covers in the house. While these keep warm air in, they also help reduce indoor air quality, as no fresh air is allowed inside.
The other reason that winter is tough for indoor air quality is the furnaces and ducts. Ducts often hold lots of built-up dust, which can be distributed back into the living space when the heater is running. The winter months of continuous heating can create a sustained supply of dust in your home.
This dust creates significant issues, including the increased chances for allergies (winter allergies not unheard of), asthma attacks, and respiratory conditions. In the winter, it can make colds worse and cause runny noses and other allergy symptoms.
Dust can also cause dust mites, a microscopic pest that creates its own set of issues. Dust mites are an unpleasant bug, and you certainly don’t want them in your home, especially if you have dust mite allergies.
While this article is about getting rid of dust in the winter, it helps to discuss a few of the other indoor air pollutants that can plague your home. For example, heating fuel, including natural gas, wood, and oil add contaminants to a home. These may not create dust, but they do release harmful airborne pollutants, which don’t get released or diluted when your home is sealed up tight.
Dust Removal Before the Winter StartsThere are many strategies you can use for getting rid of dust in winter, but it helps to start with dust-cleaning strategies before winter. If you can complete these steps by Thanksgiving, you’ll have the foundation for a dust-free home all winter long.
Remove Dust from the ClosetsThe shirts, sweaters, and jackets in your closet can hold a lot of dust, which can be released into the living space every time you open the doors. Spend an hour cleaning the dust from your closet and you’ll have better air in your bedroom, which is where we spend most of our time.
Take everything out of the closet and wipe down all the shelves. Use a brush vacuum attachment to quickly sweep over the clothes before you put them back. Quickly vacuum the floor and your closet is ready for the winter.
Clean the Kitchen Cupboards Before the SeasonThis is another strategy that helps reduce dust before you seal the house for winter. Through the year, there can be a lot of accumulated dust in your cupboards and kitchen drawers, and you may also see a pile of crumbs.
By removing the items and cleaning the shelves, you’ll keep dust from becoming a problem in your kitchen and the entire home.
Make Your Bedroom as Dust-Free as PossibleAs we mentioned earlier, you spend more time in your bedroom than any other area of the home. If you have dust in the bedroom, you’ll be breathing lots of harmful particles while you sleep during the winter months.
Keep the dust low by washing the bedding regularly, vacuuming often, and dusting the hard surfaces with a damp cloth. If you have any upholstered furniture, be sure to dust and clean them as well. This can significantly help if you have dust allergies.
Reducing Household Dust Throughout the WinterWith these steps, you’ll be able to continually reduce the dust in your home all through the cold months of winter.
Keep Winter Boots and Shoes OutsideDuring the winter months, you often on a complete outer layer before going outside. This outer layer of hats, coats, gloves, and water-proof boots can be layered with dust, even if you don’t see it.
But, you can keep this dust from entering your home by removing them before you enter the living space. Create an area near each common entryway where you remove all of your outside layers.
Keep Indoor and Outdoor Mats By the DoorIt may surprise you to learn that a large portion of dust in the home comes from outside sources, often tracked in on your shoes. To reduce dust, place a mat on the inside and outside of all entryways.
These mats will collect some of the dirt and dust, so you can have cleaner air in your home. It’s one of the most important steps for getting rid of dust in the winter.
Change the Furnace Filter More Than UsualAccording to Angie’s List, there is no hard rule on how often you should change your furnace filter. Some people may need to change theirs once a month, while others might change it less. (The U.S. Department of Energy says the longest you should go without changing it is three months for maximum efficiency.)
However often you change the filter, you’ll likely want to replace it more than usual during the winter months. The furnace will be running more, and running at higher levels, so it will accumulate dust rapidly.
Keep a closer eye on the furnace filter during the winter and you’ll have cleaner air from the holidays to the break of spring. This can help if anyone in the home has an allergy to dust.
Take Advantage of Warm Winter DaysThey might be few and far between, but if you get a warm day, don’t let it go to waste. Open the windows (even if it’s just a small crack for a short period) and allow fresh air to flow into your home.
Ventilation is one of the top ways to improve indoor air, so take advantage of any warm afternoons to reduce household dust in winter and have fewer symptoms from winter allergies.
Use an Air Purifier During the WinterAir purifiers can be useful in every season, but they are especially useful for getting rid of dust in winter. Air purifiers with HEPA filters, such as the Oransi Max or the Oransi mod are important tools for reducing the amount of dust in a home.
When the house is winterized, you can’t remove dust through simple ventilation, so an air purifier that actively pulls in air and filters out airborne particles is essential.
Outstanding Air PurifiersIf you want to learn more about our full selection of air purifiers for dust removal in winter, contact the team at Oransi today.
You can find advanced purifiers with state-of-the-art technology, including HEPA filters and activated carbon, so browse our full selection now and you’ll be able to keep your home clean of pollen, dust mites, dander, and other airborne pollutants that can cause allergy symptoms.