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Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season with Better Air Quality

small_4195919691As if the freezing cold temperatures weren’t enough, many people dread winter every year because it is the time of year that they tend to catch colds and flus. It’s no secret that these types of illnesses are much more common during the winter months, but did you know that the quality of your home’s air might partially be to blame? Today we’re going to talk about how you can stay healthy during cold and flu season by improving the quality of the air in your home!


How does your home’s air quality worsen the cold and flu season?


According to the EPA, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors. This is especially true during the cold winter months, when the last thing you want to do is leave your warm home to face the bitter temperatures outside. Because you breathe a majority of your air indoors, the quality of your home’s air can have a big impact on how healthy you stay during winter.


To make matters worse, we tend to seal up our homes as tightly as possible during winter to prevent cold air from infiltrating our homes. We add weatherstripping to our doors, insulate our windows and caulk up air leaks in order to keep heat inside where it belongs. This is all great for comfort and efficiency, but it also means that we breathe the same stale and unventilated air over and over again. If that air contains cold and flu viruses, those viruses will be continuously cycled throughout our homes.


Finally, humidity plays a huge role in how severe colds and flus can be during winter. When temperatures are low outside, so are indoor humidity levels. Viruses thrive in cold and dry conditions, so if you don’t control your home’s humidity levels, colds and flus will last and be contagious for a longer period of time.


How can you stay healthy during cold and flu season?


Given how problematic our air can be during winter, one of the best ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season is to improve your home’s air quality. You can accomplish this by:


    • Staying on top of your filter changes. A dirty air filter is not effective at removing contaminants from your home’s air. That’s why it’s especially important to stay on top of your air filter changes during winter when we’re cooped up inside and count on our filters to protect us from airborne contaminants.


    • Using a humidifier. A humidifier will raise your home’s humidity levels, which will make it much harder for cold and flu viruses to survive. A whole-house humidifier is the best solution, because it controls the humidity levels of your entire house. If you use portable humidifiers, be sure to keep them clean so that bacteria doesn’t grow in their water reservoirs.


    • Installing an air cleaner. Jerry Kelly offers a variety of air cleaners and air purifiers that are much more effective at removing viruses and bacteria from your home’s air than standard air filters. We’ll discuss one of them, RejuvenAir, in a blog post later this week.


    • Installing a low-level carbon monoxide monitor. Chronic exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide causes many flu-like symptoms. These low levels are not caught by conventional CO monitors, but a low-level carbon monoxide monitor from Jerry Kelly will detect them and warn you in ample time to take care of the problem.


If you have any questions about how a filtration system can help you stay healthy during cold and flu season, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St.Charles, MO, furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Dardenne Prairie, Des Peres and Frontenac, MO.


photo credit: William Brawley via photopin cc