Six ways to improve your home’s air quality this winter

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with any advertisers on this site. Poor indoor air quality can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer and more.

“There are pollutants in our daily environment that, if you are sensitive, could have impacts on your breathing,” says Vincent Tubiolo, an allergy, asthma and immunology

specialist in Santa Barbara, Calif. The chilly season, when we keep windows closed to stay warm, can be especially problematic. From Tubiolo and Consumer Reports experts,

including chief scientific officer James Dickerson, here are six ways to address indoor air quality trouble spots. 1. Ditch the dust House dust can be loaded with

allergens, as well as chemicals such as PFAS and phthalates, which are associated with health problems. So dust and vacuum once a week or so, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA

filter — which will help trap pollutants instead of spreading them around. Clean bedding regularly, and place impermeable covers on your pillows and mattress to block dust mite

allergens. 2. Be careful with fireplaces A toasty fire feels nice, but exposure to burning wood can lead to serious respiratory problems and increase cancer risk. So

try to use the fireplace sparingly. Keep it and your chimney clean, and open the damper during use. You could also install an Environmental Protection Agency certified fireplace

insert, which can help you heat your home more efficiently.