It’s that time again–windows close with a thump, the furnace clicks on, and next thing you know, you’re living in a hotbed of pollution that could rival the smog in L.A.
Here are 10 easy, simple things you can do to keep the air quality pure and safe in your house this autumn.
1. Empty your refrigerator tray. It can start looking pretty swampy in there, and the ‘fridge fan blows that moldy yucky air right into your home.
2. Dust your heaters. When the heat comes on, it isn’t good to smell fried dust.
3. Check for foreign objects in your heating elements. Anyone with small children knows that plastic objects can find their way into the heating units and next thing you know, everyone is sniffing and wondering, “Why does it smell like burning plastic in here?” Toxic!
4. Clean your oil burner. A dirty furnace doesn’t function as well and can emit more harmful carbon monoxide and other undesirable compounds.
5. Clean chimneys. Prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide buildup in your home.
6. Devise a compost system. When the windows stay closed, molds in the air from fermenting compost can become a problem. Be sure to empty your kitchen compost every day.
7. Be alert to outgassing. New products and activities like painting will have more of an effect on your indoor air quality now that the windows are closed. You may want to air new carpets or upholstered furniture before putting them in your house. If you’re painting, be sure to provide plenty of ventilation, and choose non-toxic paints.
8. Steam-clean your carpets. Get rid of dust, dust-mites and other noxious things so you won’t be inhaling them with every step you take.
9. Choose your candles wisely. Petroleum-based and lead-wick candles contribute significantly to dangerous levels of indoor air pollution. Buy (or make) candles made from beeswax, soy, or vegetable oils, lead-free wicks, and pure essential-oil fragrances.
10. NO kerosene space heaters, ever! They are lethal. If you need extra heat in a room, consider one of the free-standing electric heaters filled with oil that radiate clean heat.