It’s about that time in Texas where the potential for serious stretches of cold can make life not only downright uncomfortable but also possibly dangerous. That means more and more people are going to be firing up those furnaces and turning up that thermostat to make sure that the house stays cozy. One problem that can come along with all that extra heating system activity, however, is a reduction in air quality.

Poor air quality in the winter can contribute to not just allergies, but a host of other health problems as well. Heating and ventilation systems can spread mold, allergens, and other irritants, and can even cause breathing problems in those living with asthma. Here are some simple, actionable tips you can use to boost the quality of your indoor air supply this winter.

Don’t Forget to Stay Current on Your Filters

While this is one of the easiest things for homeowners to take care of themselves, it’s also one of the most crucial, and most neglected. The general guideline is to replace your furnace filter once a month unless they are premium or HEPA filters that can sometimes go for 3 months before replacement. Changing the air filter gives your furnace a greater ability to filter the air in your home, and with a fresh filter, your furnace will not have to work as hard to circulate the air, leading to less stress on mechanical components.

Get Your Ducts Cleaned

Your ductwork is not often considered when talking about air quality, but they are very important. Ducts can be a hiding place for dust and debris, which can trap moisture and breed mold and bacteria. HVAC professionals can perform cleaning on the ducts, removing large amounts of dust and other pollutants that are trapped in the ductwork. With a vigorous cleaning, your furnace will be able to perform optimally without blowing dangerous pollutants around.

Add Purification & Sterilization Elements

If you want the cleanest air possible in your home, you may want to look into augmenting your system with additional equipment meant to boost air quality. Common ways are by installing a dedicated air purifier, or by adding UV sterilization equipment.

Air purifiers come in a wide variety of sizes and capabilities, from simple units that have a single button or two, to more complex devices that can even be controlled with an app. UV sterilization is often used to kill organic airborne allergens, and it can be installed in your ductwork, so you never even have to see it.

Talk to a Professional Today

If some of the tips in this list came as a surprise to you, it may be time that you reach out to a local professional to have a full inspection of your heating system done. Not only will they be able to do a checkup on your furnace, but they can also advise you on potential upgrades to your system, like an air purifier or UV equipment. Before you know it, you’ll have better air quality indoors and you may see a reduction in physical symptoms of low air quality as well.

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