October marks the beginning of the cold and flu season for many states across the US. Add a pandemic, lingering wildfire pollution, and seasonal allergies to the mix, and you can see why it’s so important to protect the air inside of your living space. Below are some helpful tips for keeping your home — and yourself — healthy until spring.
1. Filters matter.
Air filters come in all shapes, sizes, and most importantly, strengths. No matter which rating system your filters follow (MERV, MPR, FPR, HEPA, etc.), a higher number means better performance. While low-strength filters may be cheaper, they’re usually only successful at trapping large air particles like loose hair and dust bunnies. The highest-rated filters can trap everything from mold spores to virus-carrying aerosols. If stronger air filters fit your budget, they could be a worthy investment this year.
2. There’s a reason air purifiers are so popular.
Move over, pressure cookers. The hottest home appliance this year is the air purifier. These handy devices are capable of removing allergens, bacteria, viruses, odors, and even toxins directly from your air. There are numerous manufacturers on the market right now, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that fits your decor and budget. The real challenge at the moment is finding one in stock. And, if you can’t, there are tutorials online that show you how to make your own with a box fan and a furnace filter.
3. Go with the airflow.
One of the easiest ways to freshen up the air in your living space is to keep it circulating by running fans or opening windows. This is especially true when preparing a big home-cooked meal. Fumes from kitchen activities like baking and sauteeing can spread harmful toxins throughout your house. Blow them out by turning on your exhaust fan and opening a nearby window. For additional airflow, place a box fan facing outward in your window to send the particles outdoors.
4. Another reason to love houseplants.
In addition to giving any room in your house a natural feel, house plants have also been shown to boost the indoor microbiome of your living space. And while this may not remove virus particles and most allergens, it can help reduce the number of potentially harmful bacteria in your home. On top of that, maintaining houseplants has been shown to improve the mental health of plant owners.
What’s your favorite way to protect your indoor airspace? Shoot me an email, call, or text to share your tips, or ask me any other real estate questions that may be on your mind. Stay safe, and breathe easy.