Winter often comes with a lot of shivers and sniffles. Minor colds and coughs are common, but that doesn’t mean they’re fun. How do you keep your family healthy throughout the season? It starts in the home. When you have a clean and healthy house, you and your loved ones can stay in tip-top shape all winter long. However, there’s a lot more to a healthy house than keeping the germs at bay. Make sure your house is clean and safe in the coming months with this guide on how to keep your home healthy this winter.

Focus on Air Quality

The colder weather can take its toll on your home’s air quality. Dry winter air, dusty vents and filters, or an aging furnace can make the air in your house stale and stuffy. The lack of ventilation that comes with shutting the windows for months can also lead to poor air quality. All of these things have negative effects on your health, especially if you have preexisting respiratory issues. Preserve the air quality in your home by cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system, including the air vents throughout the house. Keep in mind how different materials and products affect the home, too. For example, did you know your home’s flooring affects indoor air quality? Look for building materials, cleaning solutions, and other products that have low VOC levels. This will keep the air in your home fresh and clean no matter the season. You can also use humidifiers to keep your home’s humidity at an optimal level. Just make sure the air doesn’t get too humid, as this can lead to moisture issues.

Stay on Top of Leaks and Water

The air may be dry, but winter brings plenty of moisture with it, too. Melting ice, snow-covered clothes, and other wintry conditions can wreak havoc on your home. Moisture issues don’t have to be obvious or severe to cause mold and mildew. If you allow water to seep into your home, it can create an ideal environment for mold to grow. Even excess humidity—which can happen if you run the heater often without properly ventilating your home—can lead to mold and mildew. A huge part of keeping your home healthy this winter is to stay on top of water damage. Dehumidifiers and proper ventilation can keep your humidity at an optimal level. Clean up spills or wet spots from snow and ice quickly so that they don’t have a chance to seep into your floors.