A Healthy House After the Holidays
While some of us may not be having our traditional holiday house parties, it’s still important to check your house’s health this season. Because many pain points are probably outside of your general list of chores, they fall under the casualty that is “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”
However, creating a comfortable environment is an easier task than most households realize. Koala Insulation has developed a Healthy House Checklist for you and your family to review. Listed from most to least likely to cross your mind, here are a few areas you should be double-checking every holiday season:
- Air Filters
While most homeowners are aware they should be changing the air filters in their home regularly, only about 18% of Americans make it a habit. U.S. Home Filter recommends you to change your air filter between one and three months, depending on what type of system you have, but many other resources recommend sticking to changing them once a month.
Air filters collect allergens like dust, pollen and other outside irritators. Neglecting to change your air filter can lead to these allergens staying in your air system, circulating throughout your house. A clogged air filter can also be costing you. It could not only be raising your energy bill, but it could even lead to a damaged A/C system.
- Dust & Dander
Help your air filter out by regularly dusting and vacuuming your house. Not only does this help the air quality in your home, but it also prevents triggering respiratory issues like asthma. Dust contains dead skin fibers, fungi, bacteria and more microscopic mysteries that can be potentially harmful.
Some experts recommend dusting easy-to-reach areas once a month and harder-to-reach areas every three to six months. Make sure you’re not just redistributing dust by wiping from top to bottom in the same direction and using clean supplies like microfiber cloth. Once you’ve finished with the surfaces around your home, wrap up with a thorough vacuuming to collect fallen fibers, stray hair like pet dander, dirt and sand.
Keeping a well maintained chimney has many benefits. Cleaning the chimney flue can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, chimney fires and smoke backup while increasing the heating efficiency of your fireplace.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America advises scheduling annual chimney inspections. Expanding on three levels of inspection, they explain further in this article what you should expect, how to prepare and what an inspection should cover.
- Frozen Pipes
As the temperature drops in the winter, frozen pipes are a problematic possibility. Not only can they cut off your water supply and possibly cause an unpleasant odor, this can lead to broken and busted pipes down the line. Taking care of frozen pipes quickly is crucial to preventing them from breaking.
You can tell that a pipe is frozen by more than just seeing the ice around it - your water pressure may reduce to something as drastic as a trickle, the temperature of the water stays cold, and even unpleasant odors can come from the faucet or drains. Make sure to immediately turn off the stopcock if you suspect you may have frozen pipes and then you can either use hot water soaked towels or hot water bottles around the affected pipes to thaw them out. Always call your local plumber if you believe there may be a damaged pipe somewhere.
Keep an eye on attic and basement pipes, as well as exterior pipes. Prevention, however, is just as simple. Keep them well insulated, regularly have your boiler serviced and take care of leaks and cracks before colder months.
About 90% of U.S homes are either poorly insulated or underinsulated. Having an incorrectly insulated home can contribute to many common problems - temperatures varying from room to room, high energy bills, and even the furnace not properly heating your space.
Having an insulation expert evaluate your home takes less than 2 hours to tell you if you’re in need of a change. Koala Insulation provides free evaluations so that you maximize your home savings.
Keep your home healthy for and after the holidays this season with proper care and, of course, proper insulation! Learn more about insulation at Koala Insulation’s Learning Center and contact your local expert today for a free insulation.