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Breathe easy – keeping the air in your house clean

150 150 Nisha Muire

Once the cold season hits Toronto, homeowners tend to close their windows and drapes to keep their homes warm and toasty. However, closed windows can contribute to a build of contaminants in your home. Unless you have an air exchanger working to keep the air in your house clean and with a balanced humidity level, there is a good chance that your dwelling will see a build-up of stale air and humidity.

There are some very easy ways of preventing the air in your Toronto home from becoming too toxic.

To reduce humidity in your home always open the blinds during the day so that the sun can dry the humidity that forms and close your blinds at night to keep the warmth inside. Always turn on the fan above your stove when cooking and in your bathroom when showering. If you like to hang your laundry to dry indoors, make sure there is an adequate source of heat nearby to compensate for the amount of moisture being absorbed into the air as the water evaporates from the clothing; or, run a dehumidifier near the drying laundry to suck the moisture from the air. Your best option is to hang your laundry outside for as long as possible and then to use a dryer in the winter time.

To keep the air quality in your home as clean as possible, it is necessary to keep your home as clean as possible – with one caveat, by using natural methods to clean. Air purifiers, scented candles and air fresheners help mask odors in your home and sometimes even eliminate them altogether, but they are also a primary source of volatile components in the air, and studies have associated them with adverse effects, such as migraines, asthma attacks, mucosal symptoms, infant illness, and breathing difficulties. The better way to keep your air clean is by vacuuming regularly – getting into corners, the vents and any filters. Washing floors and dusting using water, baking soda and vinegar when necessary.

Lastly, try to improve the ventilation in your home. Even in the winter it is important to air your house out once in a while. Make sure that there is enough space for the air to circulate in each room and keep room doors open to prevent the build-up of stale air. Including some form of air filtration system such as an air exchanger or using a vacuum with a HEPA filteri s a very good idea, but could be expensive. An inexpensive solution is adding a few plants to your home – they act as natural air purifiers and are also very soothing on the psyche.


Nisha Muire

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