Winter is not only a beautiful time of seasonal change and the celebration of various holidays but an increase of dry air into the home. Excessive exposure to dry air can lead to a nagging cough and other health concerns like nosebleeds and irritated nasal passages and throats. Mayo Clinic emeritus internist, Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D. states, “Breathing cold, dry air causes narrowing (constriction) of the airways in some people with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This restricts airflow into and out of the lungs and makes breathing more difficult.”
Add a humidifier
Often used to soothe the symptoms of the common cold, humidifiers also work to provide a stable balance of humidity in the home, therefore, eliminating dry air. A cool mist humidifier and air washer combo like the Venta brand is a dual-purpose machine that not only introduces regulated moisture for your unique surroundings but also rids the air of harmful allergens like dust, mold, and airborne pathogens.
Lock down the moisture
Properly insulating your home eliminates drafts and cuts down on the frequency of heating units firing up. Follow this steps to take care of this:
Step 1 – Perform regular maintenance on your unit each year by contacting a licensed heating professional to inspect electrical components, check air flow, and look for leaks or cracks which can lead to carbon monoxide in your home.
Step 2 – Change your filter regularly. This will improve the flow of air and reduce utility bills.
Step 3 – Insulate the attic. Retailer, The Home Depot, suggests adding a second layer of insulation to save on heating bills and lower the chance of ice dams. The DIY home improvement store says, “Major amounts of heat can also be lost through cracks in the walls of your home, reducing the efficiency of your heating system and bumping up bills. Sealing your home up tight on both the interior and exterior is important to reduce the risk of drafts, leaks, dry rot, and mould.”
Step 4 – Check for drafts around window casings and if necessary, caulk around the area to eliminate unwanted air from seeping into your home.
Keep water handy
The body needs water year-round for cell renewal and hydration, so make sure you replenish your body by conveniently keeping water stocked in your home. Use a filtration system that attaches to main water line or arrange to have water delivered to your home by way of home convenient home delivery.
A persistent cough can be a symptom of more than just dry indoor air, so after you add a humidifier, up your intake of water, and seal your home from the cold drafts of winter, try changing your sheets and dusting once a week to eliminate a possible allergy to dust mites. Being proactive instead of reactive this season will not only lower your utility bill but hopefully, keep you out of the doctor’s office.Author Profile: Elizabeth Rago is a writer specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, working with yoga studios, chiropractors, mental health, and wellness practitioners. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. She has been published in Mamalode Magazine and MOMentumNation.com. Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter and Google+.