As winter weather sets in and we crank up the heat for the season, the air in our homes can quickly become stale, and maybe even a little musty. It’s no secret that breathing in fresh air is important to overall health, so how do we get it in the wintertime? We asked an expert, and her hack couldn’t be easier.
A toxin expert’s routine for getting fresh air in winter.
When we asked environmental toxin expert and certified holistic health coach Lara Adler about keeping home air fresh during chilly winters, she had one majorly helpful tip that only takes a few minutes.
The routine? Open up one window (it doesn’t have to be open very wide but more than a crack), then move to the next nearest window and open that one up too. Work your way around your entire home, opening up every window. When they’re all open, go back to the first window and close it. Then, close the second one you opened, and so on, until all your windows are closed again.
And voilà—your home’s air should get a quick refresh, without ever getting too unbearably chilly (or hard on your heating bill). Adler says just a few minutes of open windows can do wonders for our home’s circulation and overall air quality. And given that keeping windows constantly closed can result in a buildup of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens, and other irritants, it’s well worth it to get some fresh air in.
Adler recommends doing this routine periodically to allow for fresh air flow, and adds that if it’s tolerable wherever you are, you can also keep one window slightly cracked at all times.
In addition to that, she says air filtration systems can definitely help with air quality but adds you want to make sure you get one that filters both VOCs and particulate matter, such as dust.
Last but not least on the home air-quality front: Always open your windows if you’re cooking with a gas stove, Adler says, to prevent indoor air pollution.
When we’re cooped up inside all day—with the heat on, no less—there’s more opportunity for dust and other allergens to settle in our homes. We still need fresh air, even when it’s cold outside. So, if you notice the air quality in your home is seemingly subpar, go ahead and open up those windows one by one and feel the difference right away.