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​What To Know If You Plan on Staying Inside All Winter

By Jaclyn Gannon February 1, 2017
​What To Know If You Plan on Staying Inside All Winter

If you live in a state with cold weather and lots of snow, it’s likely you’ve entertained the thought of never leaving your home all winter long. It’s understandable, as the thought of going outside when it’s frigid and snowy is often far from pleasant. In fact, research by the EPA has shown that, overall, people spend a whopping 90% of their time indoors. And this number is likely even higher in the winter. Whether monetary or health-oriented, there are several issues you need to be aware of if you plan on staying inside all winter. But don’t worry, we’ll help you find solutions so you can stay as happy and healthy as possible this winter.

The Problems With Staying In and How to Solve Them

1. Your chances of getting sick may increase

According to the American Lung Association, adults catch an average of two to four colds each year, mainly during the colder months. Children, though, seem even more prone to contract a pesky virus, getting a cold about six to eight times per year. While the influenza virus naturally peaks in the winter, its spread isn’t caused only by lower temperatures. People typically spend a lot more time inside during the winter, and being in a stuffy home or building can cause more colds. A study even found that poor ventilation can cause colds and respiratory infections.

Solutions

While you may not be able to entirely avoid catching a cold during the winter months, you can increase your chances of staying healthy by doing a few simple things. A MERV 13 filter is fairly inexpensive and it can filter out many of the harmful virus carriers that are often in your home. Disinfecting the surfaces in your home is also a good idea. You may consider a disinfectant spray or wipes. The more you actively do to kill viruses, the better off you’ll be.

2. You may catch the wintertime blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a fairly common type of depression that naturally occurs in the winter. During the winter months, there is often less sunlight and people don’t get out of their homes as often. We get essential vitamin D from the sun, so not getting enough sunlight can cause vitamin D deficiency.

Solutions

One of the best solutions is to try to get outside even if only for a few minutes each day. If you have a hard time getting out of your house, however, there are a few other options. Try opening your blinds and cleaning your windows to let in as much sunlight as possible. You may also consider trying an indoor light box that simulates the sun’s rays. It has proven to be effective in about 80% of all cases of SAD, lowering depression levels and improving sleep.

3. Heating costs could become unnecessarily high

The colder it is outside, the more energy it will take to heat your home. The harder your heater has to work, the higher your heating bill will be. So while it may be tempting to lower your thermostat significantly at night, the energy it takes to reheat your home to a more comfortable temperature during the day may be costing you. Also, don’t forget to check and replace your furnace air filters. If they are clogged, they could be affecting the efficiency of your heater and pushing up your heating bill.

Solutions

Before you do anything else, you should check for areas in your home where heat may be escaping. Are your windows locked and well sealed? What about your doors? Again, another way to keep your heating bill lower is to not drastically change the temperature. At night, don’t lower it more than two or three degrees. Don’t keep the door open for too long, and try to avoid changing the temperature more than a few degrees at night.

Stay happy and healthy

By following these simple tips, you can make it through the often difficult winter months and stay healthy and happy during the coldest time of the year. Start implementing the suggestions today and see the difference in your mood and overall well-being. Enjoy the remainder of winter!

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