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How to Keep a Healthy Winter Home

It’s that time of year when temperatures drop and windows and doors close out the cold air for the season while we warm up inside. But keeping the outdoors out for too long can lead to lots of potential health issues indoors so it’s especially important to keep your home healthy during the cool winter months ahead. Here’s how:

Let the outdoors in. We know it’s chilly but try to open up your doors and windows on a regular, consistent basis throughout the season to allow fresh, clean air to circulate through your home and help clean out germs, dust and irritants. Pick a sunny time of day when the family is out and about and throw on a parka if you need to while you throw those windows open to give your interior a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Keep that air healthy. Once you do let in some good, clean air, keep it healthy with a humidifier that ensures moisture levels are optimal to protect your skin and senses from the harsh winter cold. Beauty bonus: Maintaining an adequate humidity level in your home can help with the appearance of fines and wrinkles! But proceed with caution: the EPA recommends you keep your humidifier levels at 50 percent to make sure things don’t get TOO humid, which can become a breeding ground for mold and dust mites.

Test, detect and protect. Use the start of the new season as an annual reminder to check on your home detection devices (smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors) and to test for harmful gases like radon that can seep in through foundation cracks without warning. Take an afternoon to check all your devices and run a few important tests to ensure your home is safe while you buckle down in it for the season.

A sweep is as lucky…as lucky can be. If you’re like us, you love a roaring fire during the cool winter months and it’s important to keep your chimney safe and clean to avoid accident or injury. If you use it often, have it cleaned every year before the temperature drops too low to make sure there is no build-up or debris in there that can spark and start an unwanted blaze.

Leave home improvements on your to-do list. Winter isn’t a great time to paint a room, caulk a bathroom or re-tile a backsplash. All the chemicals and fumes from common home improvement jobs won’t have anywhere to circulate and clear out if the home is insulated for the season so sit back, relax and save your major home improvement projects for the spring. That fireplace is calling your name, after all.

Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy holiday season.

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