The Cure for Cabin Fever

Laura Taylor/Flickr


Feeling stuck inside this winter? So is the air inside your home.

Indoor air pollution is caused by a lack of ventilation and can lead to more frequent colds, respiratory problems, and other ailments. Here are tips to keep your home and your family healthy:

  • Keep the house cleanDust mites, pollen, animal dander, and other pollutants can be reduced through regular cleaning. Install and use fans vented to the outdoors in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
  • Prevent moisture buildup. Water condensation on building materials can breed bacteria and mold and can be incredibly dangerous to your family's health. Keep humidity levels in these areas below 50%. 
  • Clean humidifiers regularly and refill with fresh water daily. Humidifiers can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Evaporation trays in air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators should be cleaned frequently to prevent contaminants from building up.
  • Thoroughly clean and dry water-damaged carpets or consider removing or replacing them. Wet carpets can harbor mold and bacteria. It is very difficult to completely rid them of contaminants once they've grown.
  • Minimize pollutants in basements. Clean and disinfect the basement floor drain regularly. Operate a dehumidifier in the basement if needed to keep relative humidity levels between 30%-50%.
  • Make sure cleaners are clean. Avoid spray cleaners and air fresheners which are often toxic, opting instead for cleaners deemed safe by Environmental Working Group. Never mix chemical products, especially chlorine bleach, with an ammonia cleaner. Follow instructions for use of all cleaning products and keep rooms well ventilated.



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