Breathe Easier: Indoor Air Quality Solutions for Flu Season

February 14, 2024
Breathe Easier: Indoor Air Quality Solutions for Flu Season

Even with mask-wearing practices and increased intake of immune-boosting Vitamin C, sometimes, there’s more to the story surrounding how to catch the dreaded seasonal flu. Unfortunately, there are times when the air in your home is the culprit. If you’d like to work on improving your indoor air and keep viral bacteria at bay, consider some of the following tips.

1. Control Humidity

As the temperature drops during the colder months, the cold and flu season takes its toll on the masses throughout Erie County and western New York. The lack of humidity in the air, coupled with the drying effects of an HVAC system that emits hot air, can make it difficult to maintain the necessary moisture levels. However, there is a solution to this problem: humidifiers.

By adding moisture to the air, they can help you achieve a healthy amount of humidity. To make sure you’re keeping your indoor humidity levels in check, it’s a good idea to invest in a hygrometer. Ideally, it’s best to maintain humidity levels between 30% and 50%. If the level is higher than 50%, you’ll run the risk of cultivating an environment that’s conducive to mold growth. To ensure you’re able to maintain the right balance, consider investing in a humidifier, hygrometer, and dehumidifier for your home.

2. Reduce Allergens

Allergens can be difficult to detect with the naked eye. It’s easy to feel helpless against them, but there are habits you can implement to suppress the spread of allergens. For instance, if you tend to keep a lot of clutter around your home, it might be time to reverse this trend. Dust and allergens thrive in cluttered environments, so it’s best to give every item a designated spot and toss the rest.

The average person spends one-third of their life in bed. It’s interesting to think about, but it can also mean that your bed might be a breeding ground for allergens to thrive. To decrease the spread, purchase allergen-proof mattress toppers and pillowcases. When it’s time to wash your bedding, always use hot water as it’s effective at killing germs. Also, because our bodies release sweat, skin cells, and bacteria, it’s crucial to remember to change your bedding regularly.

3. Improve Ventilation

Fresh air is essential for overall wellness. This is especially true when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s a good idea to let fresh air into your home to reduce the risk of flu and other illnesses. Ventilation plays a critical role in keeping the air inside your home clean and fresh. Opening the windows for a short period, even on cold days, can help to circulate the air and remove pollutants and allergens.

It’s also important to use exhaust fans and vents, especially when cooking or taking a shower. Exhaust fans and vents are effective in removing fumes, chemicals, and excess moisture. By adopting these simple ventilation habits, you’ll get a head start on making sure the air in your home remains clean and healthy.

4. Keep It Clean

It’s crucial to start with your physical body and maintain cleanliness by washing your hands and body with antibacterial soap regularly. Become a stickler for washing your hands when you first get home, after you’ve used the restroom, and after you’ve sneezed or coughed.

Furthermore, begin the practice of coughing or sneezing into your elbow instead of your hands. Especially when you’re sharing spaces with others, this is the more hygienic solution. It’s essential to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of viral bacteria. If you do end up getting sick, it’s best to cancel your plans and stay home for the safety of others.

5. Invest in Air Purification

If you haven’t already done so, strongly consider investing in modern air purification systems to improve the air quality in your home. HEPA filters are known for their effectiveness in trapping and removing particles, bacteria, and allergens. They’re an excellent option for filtration.

Additionally, it may be beneficial to consult with trusted professionals like the team at Vastola Heating & Cooling. We’re equipped to assess the air quality and identify any harmful bacteria (mold, mildew, etc). We can provide you with solutions that may include tools like dehumidifiers, humidifiers, or purifiers to help improve your indoor air quality. Working with professionals can remove the guesswork, and we’ll walk you through the process of taking the best steps to create a healthier environment.

Moving Forward With Professional Care

As you aim to improve your indoor air quality and avoid a dreadful bout with the flu, remember to enlist the help of a team of HVAC professionals to maintain your system. By choosing Vastola Heating & Cooling, you’ll gain access to 24/7 emergency service and over 70 years of experience. Our service offerings range from heating and cooling installation and repairs to duct cleanings, smart thermostat installations, and snow melt systems. For more information on how our team can serve you effectively, contact us today.