Fall is bad news for the air quality inside of your home. A busy season for dust mites, ragweed and mold, the months leading up to winter can be especially difficult for those suffering from allergies, asthma or other respiratory issues.

As the temperature drops and we close our windows and shut our doors, we trap dust, allergens and other pollutants in our homes. When we turn on our furnaces for the first time, we often recirculate them in the air we breathe.

Installing a whole home air cleaner or purifier with your heating and cooling system is one of the best ways you can be proactive about improving the air quality of your home. Also have your duct system professionally cleaned and your furnace tuned up and cleaned.

There are many ways you can impact the health of your air, in fact. Read on for our list of eight ways to improve the air quality in your home.

1. Before turning on your furnace for the first time have it tuned up and cleaned.  A professional technician will ensure your furnace is working correctly, at peak efficiency and not in danger of emitting toxic carbon monoxide.
2. Clean your vents first to avoid getting a mouthful of dust.  Wipe down all register covers and consider having your ducts professionally cleaned to remove allergens that live there.
3. Change air filters every month to avoid reintroducing dust and contaminates into circulated air.
4. Repair any plumbing leaks so that mold, bacteria and mildew don’t have a chance to grow.  Bonus: you’ll see the savings on your water bill.
5. Avoid reintroducing dust, mites and other particulate matter into your air by having carpets professionally cleaned at the beginning of the season.
6. Schedule activities that will emit toxic odors, such as painting, on days when you can open doors and ventilate your home.
7. Avoid using chemical cleaners, which can emit toxins into your home.  Use natural cleaners or make you own less expensively.
8. Avoid burning lead-wick or petroleum-based candles, which emit toxic air into your home for hours at a time.  Instead, choose candles made of beeswax, soy and vegetable oils with lead-free wicks.