February is Care About Your Indoor Air Month and we at Sturbridge Yankee would like to share a few of our secrets, starting with the importance of properly ventilating your home. We know what you’re thinking, “Ventilation? In February?” Relax, we don’t mean, necessarily, opening your windows.
Truthfully, proper ventilation is especially important when it’s cold outside. Fireplaces, leaking chimneys, gas stoves, water heaters, furnaces, gas heaters, pellet stoves, and other combustion-driven appliances leak carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into your home. Propane and oil-burning furnaces also leak fumes into the air. The most important thing you can do is make sure your appliances are in good repair and have been installed with proper ventilation duct work. Check these vents once a year to insure they haven’t become clogged or blocked. Whether you use your fireplace regularly or not, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year and make sure any necessary repairs are made. More than soot can collect in a chimney and people who only use their fireplaces a few times a year may not notice a problem as quickly.
Change your heating and air conditioning unit’s filter once a month. We recommend using a hypo-allergenic filter. Have your heating and air conditioning duct work cleaned to remove dust and other debris that can blow around your house.
Keeping your appliances in good working order improves their efficiency as well, saving energy and saving money.
And, if you accidentally get a 60 degree day in February, opening your windows for a few blissful hours is always a good idea.