Fighting the back-to-school cold

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For many people, summer is still well underway. But for students and parents, back to school is just around the corner. This means buying supplies, clothes, and getting ready for early mornings. 

Back to school is an exciting time, but it also comes with some downsides. Kids interact and share toys, books, and other objects, increasing the likelihood of spreading infections. Back to school also coincides with the start of cold and flu season. All these factors mean that returning to the classroom often means sniffly, sick kids. 

The back-to-school cold may seem inevitable, but there are a few ways you can help to prevent it from spreading through your home! A well-ventilated and clean indoor environment can play a significant role in safeguarding children’s health as they return to school. Ensuring that the air inside your home is fresh and cycling well can keep kids healthy and make it less likely that they’ll pass any illness on to family members. 

Change filters

Regular vent maintenance is a great way to protect your home from contaminated air. Change vent and furnace filters regularly. Most sources recommend replacing them every 90 days, but you may want to replace them more frequently as school gets underway. Filters are the first line of defence when it comes to clean air in your home. 

Air it out

When the weather permits, air your home out for a little bit each day. This will bring fresh outdoor air into your home, adding a nice breeze and keeping stale air from being recycled. Don’t forget to check the allergen reports before opening windows. Plenty of potential allergens are still in the air even as fall gets underway. Ragweed can be found in the air right up until the first frost! 

Sanitize and dust

Back to school means packed schedules for kids and parents. The last thing you want to do is clean more than you have to. Unfortunately, regularly dusting and wiping down surfaces is a great way to keep the back-to-school cold from spreading to every member of your family. Sanitizing surfaces will limit the amount of time you spend interacting with potential viruses. Limiting dust will improve your air quality and circulation.


Air purifiers can help you improve indoor air quality and keep your family from getting sick. Consider using air purifiers with HEPA filters in common areas to capture particles and allergens. These devices can significantly improve indoor air quality. 

Call in the pros

Air duct and HVAC maintenance can also help keep indoor air quality high and save you from an at-home super spreader. Schedule regular maintenance for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your ductwork by experienced professionals.

Duct cleaning can play a significant role in reducing back-to-school illnesses. When your ducts are dirty, the air in your home doesn’t circulate as well. Stagnant air can carry irritants and germs that could lead to sickness. Dust stuck in your ductwork can also exasperate any cold-like symptoms by causing coughing or difficulty breathing. 

Schedule a duct cleaning before your kids return to school if you haven’t had one in a while. Clean ducts mean clean air that flows freely throughout your home. Professionals can also assess the indoor air quality and provide recommendations for improvement.

Beyond the health benefits, the psychological impact of clean air on kids returning to school cannot be understated. Fresh and clean air can improve cognitive function, concentration, and overall mental well-being. As children transition back to school after summer, providing them with a clean and comfortable environment can enhance their ability to focus on learning, reducing stress levels and promoting a positive attitude.

Back to school is a simultaneously exciting and stressful time for both you and your children. The last thing you need during this hectic time of year is your entire family coming down with a cold. While there is no guaranteed way to save yourself from illness, keeping the air quality in your home high can help. This means practicing standard hygiene and air circulation habits while also getting professional cleaning and maintenance done when needed. 

Remember that maintaining a healthy indoor environment is an ongoing process. Regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and avoiding common pollutants can go a long way in helping you stay healthy and comfortable in your home.