Easy ways you can improve indoor air quality

Reduce indoor allergens that can trigger respiratory problems and other issues.


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It may feel cozy being sealed in tight against the cold in your home during the chillier months of the year, but for people who are sensitive to indoor allergens or have respiratory problems, winter can exacerbate problems. Stale indoor air and heating systems can increase the amount of allergy-inducing dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores circulating through your house. In late winter and early spring, it may still be too chilly to throw open the windows to pull out the musty air, so while you await the warmer weather it's important to be aware of some of the allergy and respiratory triggers that may be lurking in your surroundings.

"Most of the things that cause problems are odorless," says Dr. Nicholas BuSaba, associate professor of otolaryng-ology at Harvard -Medical School. "So, in many cases there's nothing to alert you to the problem." That is, there's nothing other than the symptoms these allergens can trigger — such as respiratory problems (including asthma flare-ups), fatigue and sleepiness, or even digestive issues.

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