Winter is notorious for its effects on our health. From sniffles and sneezes to chronically dry skin, winter can have a big impact on your body. The good news is that there are a few things you can do right at home to help fight back against winter’s bullying. Here are three home upgrades to gift yourself with this holiday season to help improve your home’s air quality.

A new (or better functioning) furnace

Furnaces are designed to last between 15 to 20 years. While there’s nothing wrong with holding out on getting a new furnace while your current one is working well, an old furnace that’s starting to bite the dust can be more than just annoying. Old, malfunctioning furnaces can cause dust, mold, and pathogens to make their way into your home. This can cause respiratory illnesses and worsening asthma symptoms, which is the last thing you want during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re unsure about the state of your furnace, consider contacting a maintenance team to come take a look at it. Best-case-scenario, your furnace only needs a little fine-tuning.

New HVAC or HEPA filters

Speaking of furnaces, upgrading your furnace filter is another great way to boost your home’s indoor air quality. HVAC and HEPA filters typically need to be replaced about every 90 days (or sooner if you have more than one pet). These filters are great at catching dirt, dust, and debris so they don’t fly up into the air. But if these filters get too dirty, they won’t be able to catch anything. The good news is that you don’t need a professional to replace your filters for you. YouTube has over 2 billion visitors every month, and you can find step-by-step videos on how to replace your filter for your exact brand of HVAC online.

A new layer of insulation

Insulation might be the last thing you think of when it comes to improving indoor air quality and your health. But proper attic insulation can not only help to keep the cold air out, but it can also help to keep your warm air in. During the winter and summer months, the air pressure in your home tries to balance itself out with the air pressure outside. That means you’re losing heat and cool air when you need it the most. Insulating your attic can save you between 10% to 50% on your heating and cooling bills. It can also help to keep your roof protected against dangerous winter problems like ice dams, which can cause serious water damage.

It’s no secret that the winter season can be rough on our health. But by keeping tabs on dust and debris, and keeping our homes insulated against the cold, we can boost our indoor air quality this winter to breathe a little easier.