While waiting for spring to finally get here, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your air spring fresh. Some people use household candles and air fresheners to spruce up the scent of their house during the doldrums of winter, but did you know that those can contain harmful chemicals? So, is there anything a homeowner can do to get rid of that stale air versus just masking it? The answer is yes – at least 10 of them.
According to our resident expert Keith Hill, technical support manager for Minnesota Air, ventilation is the best way to stop stale air.
“Exchanging the stale with fresh is healthy and it doesn’t add chemicals or particles to the air,” he says.
Ventilation is really the only way to bring fresh air in. Whether you get ventilation naturally or by the help of a mechanical device, there are a few methods to help.
- Natural ventilation – Open windows and doors. This can help push old, stale air out, but may also bring pollen or pollutants in, depending on outdoor conditions.
- Air Exchanger – A mechanical device that can push old air out and bring new air in. Plus, with the use of filters, it filters out the pollutants and particles.
- Heat Recovery Ventilator – Another mechanical device that is one of the most efficient ways to exchange the air. Heat recovery ventilators, or HRVs, are 65 to 70% efficient according to Keith, because they actually push out cold stale air, but not all the heat your furnace is busy making.
Keep Smoke/Burning Away
Besides ventilation, you can fight stale air by avoiding things that are combustible inside – those are things that burn or can add smoke to your home.
- Don’t use candles
- Take smoking outside
- Avoid burning incense inside
- Minimize wood-burning fireplace use
Keith says anything that burns can emit carbon particles into the air, and also vapors like carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene to name a few.
Don’t Fake Fresh Air
Remember that fresh air can only come from fresh air – there are no substitutes.
Air fresheners can be helpful in masking the smell of stale air, but be careful, says Keith.
“Many of them have phthalates in them which can cause a variety of health issues,” he says.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) says phthalates are “chemicals widely employed to make plastics more malleable and help lotions penetrate skin. A number of phthalates are known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm in test animals.”
So, in order to keep you home safer from those chemicals:
- Avoid air fresheners
- Invest in an electronic air cleaner
- Purchase UV lights for your HVAC system that can help kill bad bacteria in the air.
Keith says air purification systems like electronic air cleaners or ultraviolet lights will also help to freshen the air. They add nothing harmful but remove many of the contaminants that cause that stale air smell.
If you want even more ideas on keeping your air fresh, check out the articles below, then call the folks at StaycomfyMinnesota.com to help you improve the air in your home.
- Air Quality Control: How To Keep Your Air Fresh During The Long Winter
- Ways To Ensure Healthy Indoor Air In Your Home
- Air Filters 101