Clearing the Air

By: Judy Fortin
By: Judy Fortin

It'll be awhile before homeowners in some parts of the country can open up their windows and let in fresh air. Here's what you can do in the meantime.

It's the middle of winter and these homes in Chicago are sealed up tightly, and that can create problems indoors. As people spend more time inside they're getting exposed to all the things that aren't circulating. Allergist Kathleen Sheerin says stagnant air leads to a common form of indoor air pollution.

For some people who aren't allergic it can just make you stuffy and your eyes a little irritated, but if you're one of the 20% of the population who has allergies it may cause the same reaction that you see at the height of spring. Sheerin says pet dander, cigarette smoke and even particles from a fireplace can irritate delicate sinus passages. She recommends doing some winter cleaning, starting with the furnace.
install filters that effectively trap particles floating in the air. Use exhaust fans to help reduce moisture and mold buildup. Remove carpeting that harbors dust mites and consider cracking open a window whenever possible.

Sheerin says, if you don't suffer from outdoor allergies during this time of year, it may be the best way to clear the air.


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