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As the weather outside gets colder, many of us retreat indoors to keep warm and cozy. However, if our indoor air quality is poor – due to dryness, airborne particles or even harmful chemicals – it can affect our health.

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality is a must for every homeowner. Here are a few things you can do to ensure the air quality in your home is healthy and safe during winter months:

Make sure there’s enough humidity 

We’re used to dealing with high humidity in the summer, but winter presents us with the opposite challenge. Air that is too dry can irritate your skin, nose and throat, and leave you more vulnerable to colds and infections. Use a hygrometer to measure your indoor humidity levels and aim to keep them between 30 and 50 per cent.

If you need to add moisture, simple, everyday activities like cooking, showering and air-drying clothes inside can help. If you do these things and it’s still too dry, consider getting a humidifier.

Measure radon levels 

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that exists in every home to a certain degree, but it can be very harmful if there are high concentrations of it. The only way to know if radon is an issue in your home is to test for it – either by using a do-it-yourself kit or by hiring a professional – and the ideal time to test is during winter months when there is reduced air circulation.

If your radon levels are above 200 becquerels per cubic metre, don’t despair, because your new home warranty has your back. Excessive radon is covered for seven years from the original date of possession or occupancy, which means that your builder is required to take the necessary measures to rectify the situation. And in the event that your builder is not taking action, you can make a warranty claim to Tarion.

Maintain your furnace 

Your furnace has a big impact on indoor air quality, and maintenance is key. The first step is to ensure it’s working properly. Having your furnace checked by a professional before heating season is always a good idea.

Next, you’ll want to change your furnace filter on a regular basis. When the filter is clogged, it’s no longer able to catch the dust, mould spores, pollen, dander and other kinds of airborne particles. How often you need to change your filter depends on the type you use, so you should follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

These are just a few of the things you can do to maintain a healthy home this season. 

Click here for more winter home maintenance tips.