How to Clear the Air in your Knoxville Home This Winter
By Teri Meyer
Breathing clean, crisp air is something we take for granted in Knoxville, but your home can get rather stuffy, especially in winter.
Maintaining your home’s heating system improves air quality and keeps the furnace running smoothly. With temperatures dipping into the 30s on winter nights, keeping your home warm and dust-free is quite a project.
To make it easier to maintain your home heating system, it helps to know a bit about the importance of air purification, the basics of heating system maintenance, and simple solutions to help keep the air in your home clean and crisp.
Air is full of pollutants — no kind of purifier can get rid of them completely, but the products you use inside your home can make a difference.
Next time you paint or clean inside, use low (or no) Volatile Organic Compound products. VOCs have carbon substances that vaporize at room temperature and flow into the atmosphere.
Cleaning solutions with harsh chemicals also dull the air. Commercial air purifiers help because they draw dust into cleanable or replaceable filters. Which purifier is right for you? That depends on your needs. Purifiers come in different sizes and price ranges.
Dust-free filters and vents lead to cleaner air flowing in and out of the furnace. Your maintenance checklist should include inspecting for corrosion, leaks, clogs, and crusty residue. Changing air and oil filters is part of the drill.
You also may need your air ducts cleaned. Dust, pet hair, mold, and other debris can accumulate in the ducts and affect your air quality. You may be able to change your filters, but it’s best to call a professional HVAC service for a thorough air duct cleaning.
Plants give every room in the house a breath of fresh air. But some plants are better than others when it comes to removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene.
Want to spruce up your living room and bedrooms? Pot some of these favorites:
Spider and snake plants
Indoor gardening adds a touch of edible greenery to your home — hydroponic systems with liquid soil are all the rage these days. The scents from leafy tomatoes, herbs, and flowers are heavenly!
One thing to note is that Tennessee’s best plants for outdoor gardening do not work inside unless you can duplicate the summer climate and humidity.
Beeswax candles don’t produce much smoke, and they don’t have a strong scent. Negative ions released into the air eliminate dust and pet dander. Beeswax candles burn slowly.
Bamboo charcoal filters purify water and remove toxins from the air. You can buy specially-designed Moso purifying bags to place in all the rooms of the house.
Charcoal’s porous structure absorbs allergens, pollutants, bacteria, and moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew on soft and hard surfaces.
The heat and special crystallized salt release negative ions, which neutralize or reduce pollutants.
Rosemary, cinnamon, thyme, and oregano draw germs from the air. Try different scents like grapefruit, lemon, tea, and cloves to kill fungi, mold, bacteria, and viruses. Place a few drops of oil into a bowl of warm water.
Cleaning the house sounds like a simple solution — but you have to do it more than once a year. The more often you clean, the less opportunity there is for dust to settle on furniture, in corners, and on top of cabinets.
Don’t forget Rover and Miss Kitty: Brush and clean up after dogs and cats regularly because pet dander floats everywhere.
Fans move the cool air around in the summer, but they also keep air circulating in winter. Make sure you clean the blades so they don’t accumulate dust.
Open a few windows on warmer winter days. Cross ventilation moves air from here to there. If you have seasonal allergies, though, opening windows may clear the air but not help clear up your allergies.
Cold temperatures and the COVID-19 pandemic have us holed up in the house this winter. Breathing cleaner air inside our Knoxville homes is a step to staying healthy.
If you notice a lot of dust, or an increase in allergy or asthma symptoms, call us at (865) 474-1511 or contact us online for duct cleaning services in Knoxville and the surrounding areas! We stand behind everything we do with a lifetime parts and labor warranty.
Teri Meyer is a health writer and self-described germaphobe. She writes for several national publications, offering tips on keeping offices and homes germ-free.