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Improving Air Quality at Home this Winter

Winter Air Quality Image

On average, we spend 90% of our time throughout the year indoors, and even more in winter. Good indoor air quality is therefore crucial for our health, particularly during the winter months.

Indoor environments are often poorly ventilated, causing humidity to rise and creating ideal conditions for mould and house dust mites to thrive.  We are also a nation of pet lovers, with our pets often living indoors and leaving allergens around the home. 

Mould

Moulds release spores which can be a problem for people with respiratory allergy and cause people to have allergic symptoms. You can try the following to help manage mould:

  • Thorough cleaning of indoor areas and good ventilation will prevent further growth of mould. Pay particular attention to bathrooms, kitchens, utility areas and windows
  • An air purifier may help to remove allergens from the air
  • For a severe mould problems, contact the environmental health department of your local authority for advice and assistance

Dust mites

Most efforts at controlling dust mites should be aimed at areas of the home where you spend most of your time and where dust mite load is greatest, i.e. bedrooms and living areas.

  • Use mattress coverings as a barrier against allergens
  • Wash bedding and toys at 60 degrees and over to kill dust mites
  • Replace carpets with hard floors, and vacuum floors regularly with a high-filtration vacuum cleaner
  • Regularly wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust
  • An air purifier may help remove allergens from the air

Pets

Pet allergy is caused by the protein in your pet’s saliva, urine or dander (shed skin particles). The immune system can recognise this as a harmful substance and cause an allergic reaction.

  • Avoid contact with pets and animals where possible
  • Wash your hands after touching or being licked by a pet
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom and away from soft furnishings (beds, sofas and cushions)
  • An air purifier may help remove allergens from the air
  • Regularly wash pet bedding on a hot wash

Visit our page on Indoor Air Quality for more information about managing allergies in the home.

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