Taking care of your family members during the winter months requires a lot of work. From making sure they eat right, to washing their hands, to ensuring that they are getting rest, all the right steps to avoid getting sick take effort. But did you know that this also requires making sure that your furnace is doing its job? If you don't manage the dry air in your home as well as keep your home from a continuous feed of allergens that can come from running your furnace, your family's health could be in danger. Here are some tips to help protect your family all winter long.

Check the Filter

When you are getting your furnace ready for the winter season, the first thing you will want to do is check the filter. If you have not replaced the filter in quite some time, replace it now before you even turn the furnace on. This is because over time, dirt and allergens will settle inside the filter, and when you turn the air blower on, the allergens and dirt will blow around your home. This will help contribute to allergies that any of your family members suffer during the winter, but it will also help contribute to sore and inflamed nasal passages of those who are already suffering from a cold or a sinus infection.  From there, you should be sure to change out the filter at least once a year, or on an as-needed basis.

Clean the Air Ducts

Just as with a filter, the air ducts will see a buildup of dirt and debris over time. When you turn the air on, all of those particles will fill into the home. So take the time to clean out your air ducts before the winter season starts. If you are not sure how to clean them, you can hire a furnace contractor like Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp to do the job for you.

Buy a Humidifier

There is no doubt that the air is much dryer during the winter months. The best thing you can do to help keep your family healthy is to purchase a humidifier. When the air is too dry, your nasal passages will become inflamed and swollen, which can contribute to a sinus infection. If you have a humidifier, the air in your home will have a higher moisture level, and it will help keep nasal passages moist. Throats and eyes can also become quite irritated when the air is quite dry.

Talk with an HVAC contractor to find out more ways to keep your furnace running healthy all winter.