Indoor Air Quality in Winter
11315 Sunrise Gold Circle
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Indoor Air Quality this Winter
For most of the country, winter has arrived! And when
the winter winds start (or even threaten) to howl, the
first thing you think of is your heating system. It
is also natural to want to close your home up tightly.
To stay warm and to avoid wasting energy, you close
the windows - or even seal them with window film - and
you find ways to stop cold air from leaking in through
cracks and under doors. But when those instincts kick
in, remember that what you are also doing is sealing
air inside your home.
When you come home and take a nice, deep breath to
relax, are you getting more than you bargained for?
It may come as a surprise to learn that, according to
the Environmental Protection Agency, the air in our
homes is often two-to-five times more polluted than
the outdoor air -- even in the largest and most industrialized
Even for those without allergies or sensitive respiratory
systems, it's important to have a clean home. As you
close your home for the cold months ahead, now is the
perfect time to take some simple steps for fresher air.
Industry experts say, "Considering the amount of
time spent in the house, especially during winter, you
should ensure that your home and indoor air are as clean
Here are some tips to help keep homes clean and
- Remove out the old furnace filter, vacuum the intake
grill, and replace the filter regularly (at least
once per month). A clean filter allows the furnace
to run more efficiently and puts out cleaner air.
- Dust and vacuum often. Consider using a vacuum with
a built-in allergen or HEPA filter, which allows one
to clean floors and surfaces while putting less dust
back in the air (from the vacuum exhaust).
- Filter allergens by changing the filters in your
vacuum regularly, to reduce the amount of allergens
and other particles released into the air. "Filtrete"
vacuum filters, made by 3M, for example, have been
shown to optimize vacuum durability and suction, keeping
the home cleaner by trapping dust. The filters are
available at many retailers, and for nearly all brands
and models of vacuum cleaners.
- When dusting, do so with microfiber towels and dusters.
Such products attract dust, which cling to the fibers
instead of simply becoming airborne or dropping back
to the ground.
- Ventilate the home. It may seem counterintuitive,
but occasionally let the outside air in. On a nice
day, briefly open windows (even for only 5 minutes).
This helps indoor air circulate with outdoor air,
and results in a fresher environment.
- Go natural. Consider switching to natural and organic
cleaning products that don't release dangerous chemicals
or materials into the home's air.
- Bathe and brush pets regularly. Pets' coats are
often loaded with dirt and dander that scatters around
the house and can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
To avoid this problem, brush and bathe pets regularly.
Basic Safety - Alarms! In addition to your fire/smoke
alarms, strongly consider installing a carbon monoxide
(CO) detector. CO is undetectable (colorless, odorless
and tasteless), and is a silent killer. Since CO is
lighter than air, be sure to install the detector at
high points of the home (i.e. at the top of the stairs).
There are other events and situations that can result
in contaminants, which can result in serious health
SMOKE/SOOT: Even a very small fire/smoke event
can result in thousands of products of incomplete combustion
(PICs) being released into the air. All of these PICs
have the potential to cause serious health issues -
especially in highly susceptible persons. If such a
small event occurs, consider calling a restoration professional.
Such a professional will be glad to provide a no-cost
evaluation of the situation in your home to help determine
if there are any PICs that need to be professionally
cleaned and removed.
FURNACE MALFUNCTIONS: Sometimes, a furnace will
malfunction and release smoke/soot particles into the
air. These should be treated exactly the same as all
PICs in a home, and the situation should be evaluated
and/or remediated by a restoration professional.
MOLD: Even a small amount of mold can produce
an abundance of allergens and/or mycotoxins in the home.
Again, highly susceptible persons are at the greatest
risk. The Center
for Disease Control (CDC) says that ALL molds have
the potential to cause illness or distress, especially
in highly susceptible individuals. Therefore, the CDC
concludes that all molds should be removed from the
indoor environment. So, if you see mold growing anywhere
in your home, consider calling a restoration professional
to do an evaluation regarding the remediation of this
Regardless of the circumstances - indoor air
contamination, or dealing with puff backs or other fire/smoke
damage, odors, mold
remediation, or even biohazard remediation - call
your local PuroClean Home Rescue office, the Paramedics
of Property Damage™. For all property damage situations,
our professionals are standing by. We will mitigate
the loss to prevent further damage and will then provide
restoration services to return the property to a pre-loss
condition as quickly as possible. All PuroClean offices
have well-trained professional technicians who provide
the latest state-of-the-science services to all property
damaged from water, fire, smoke, mold, and other disasters.
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