Preparing Your Home & Heating System for Fall: Tips to Ensure Healthy Indoor Air Quality

woman sitting on couch

Once fall arrives in Cincinnati, the end of the year is just around the corner. As the weather cools down, we tend to spend more time indoors, making it crucial to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and healthy. In this blog, we'll delve into the specific challenges your indoor air may face during the fall season and provide you with essential tips to combat them.

1. Allergies in the Air

Fall is notorious for bringing an uptick in allergens such as pollen, mold spores, and dust mites. These microscopic irritants can easily find their way into your home, leading to discomfort and aggravating allergies. To combat this, here are some steps you can take:

  • Change Air Filters Regularly: Your HVAC system's air filters play a crucial role in trapping airborne particles. Make sure to change them regularly, typically every one to three months depending on the type of filter, to ensure they function efficiently.

  • Invest in High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters: Consider using HEPA filters, which are specially designed to capture even the tiniest particles, providing a higher level of protection against allergens.

2. Fireplaces and Candles

There's nothing quite like the warm, flickering glow of a fireplace or the comforting scent of a well-chosen candle on a chilly fall evening. However, it's essential to be mindful of the potential indoor air quality issues they can introduce:

  • Ensure Proper Ventilation: When using a fireplace, ensure that the flue is working correctly to channel smoke outside. Adequate ventilation is crucial to prevent the buildup of indoor air pollutants.

  • Choose Candles Wisely: Opt for candles made from natural ingredients and free of harmful chemicals. When using scented candles, do so in well-ventilated areas to reduce the concentration of indoor air pollutants.

3. Indoor Air Pollution

As the temperatures drop, we tend to hunker down indoors, which can lead to the accumulation of indoor air pollutants such as dust, pet dander, and more. Plus, the upcoming holidays have us gathered with friends and families in our homes. To combat potential indoor air pollution, consider the following steps:

  • Adequate Ventilation: Even in cooler weather, it's important to allow fresh outdoor air to circulate through your home. Open windows periodically to let in clean air and expel pollutants.

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust and allergens can accumulate quickly, especially in hidden corners. Regular cleaning, including vacuuming with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner, can significantly reduce indoor air pollution.

  • Utilize Air Purifiers: Consider investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter to improve air quality further. Air purifiers can help remove airborne particles and pollutants, making your indoor environment healthier.

4. Holiday Decorations

Fall often marks the beginning of the holiday season, and that means it's time to bring out your cherished decorations. However, stored holiday decor can accumulate dust and allergens over time. Additionally, some plastic decorations may release chemicals absorbed during manufacturing. To minimize indoor air pollution, follow these guidelines:

  • Inspect and Clean Decorations: Before adorning your home with decorations, inspect them for dust and allergen buildup. Give them a thorough cleaning, wiping away any accumulated particles.

  • Choose Non-Toxic Options: When purchasing new decorations, opt for non-toxic materials and paints. Look for products that are labeled as low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) to reduce the emission of harmful chemicals.

  • Air Out Decorations: If decorations have been stored in boxes or attics for an extended period, take the time to air them out in a well-ventilated area before placing them around your home.

Heating and Furnace Maintenance for Cincinnati Homeowners

Treating your heating system to annual maintenance before winter arrives, is crucial to ensure your furnace is in top working condition before the colder months arrive. Its recommended heating maintenance should be completed in the fall, allowing a professional technician to identify and address any potential issues before they become major, costly problems during the peak of winter. An annual heating tune-up can significantly improve the efficiency of your heating system, which can lead to lower energy bills throughout the winter. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, fall maintenance enhances safety by reducing the risk of carbon monoxide leaks and other heating-related hazards, providing peace of mind for you and your family as you stay warm and cozy during the colder season.

As you prepare to embrace the beauty of fall inside your home, remember that ensuring healthier indoor air quality is an essential part of the transition. By staying vigilant about allergens, being mindful of fireplace and candle usage, and addressing indoor air pollution, you can create a cozy and healthier environment for you and your loved ones to enjoy throughout the autumn season. In combination with your fall maintenance, you can ensure your home and heating system are ready for the seasons ahead, by booking an appointment today!