There are times of the year when the windows just won’t get opened. What this means for the home is that no fresh breezes can circulate the air. Rather, the air inside the home gets recycled through the HVAC system, becoming stale and sometimes even kind of smelly.
It’s times like these when you can either suffer in silence or do decide to something about it. Air fresheners aren’t enough for this kind of problem, because they can’t do much more than attack bacteria. You need to get deeper into the issue and use a multipronged approach to get your home feeling and smelling fresh.
Cleaning and Vacuuming
Image via Flickr by Molly DG
Surfaces in your home collect odor — even walls. Although you might not want to tackle a floor-to-ceiling cleaning job every week, try to keep floors washed, and be sure to occasionally throw slipcovers into the washing machine. Go over the couches with a deodorizer to help eliminate smells that get stuck underneath the cushions.
If possible, take the curtains down and put them into the washing machine, too. If you don’t have time for this, then take a handheld vacuum cleaner to the draperies to remove dust and dirt. Washing the walls every once in a while also helps, especially if there are pets in the home.
Maintain the Vents and Ductwork for Improved Air Circulation
When you’re running the HVAC system, you’re pushing air through the ducting and vents. What you may not realize is just how much stuff collects in them over time. Vents collect dust, and the ducts can be a repository for all kinds of allergens and odor-causing materials. The time to have the ducts cleaned is before you turn on the HVAC for the year, but you can clean the vents at any time by running a damp rag around the opening.
Run Kitchen Ventilation Systems
Do you have a hood with a ventilation fan over your stove? If so, use it both when you’re cooking and when you’re not. The kitchen ventilation system is a one-way exhaust fan that draws odors out of the home. It’s designed to clear the air in the kitchen, but if you leave it on longer than usual, it will keep pulling in air volume. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does diminish the odors in the home a little.
Add Plants to the Home
Plants are mother nature’s air purifiers. They draw in CO2, whose presence can add to the stale smell of air, for their growth process and in return put fresh oxygen into the air. You and your house will benefit from the regular production of oxygen. It’s a passive way of maintaining air quality, but an effective one even so. Plus, there’s the added bonus of having a bit of color during winter months.
These are some good of keeping your home smelling fresh, reducing allergen buildup, and keeping the air circulating through your home. Fresh air makes everyone feel better when opening the windows isn’t possible.