Many dread being outdoors during winter but spending time indoors does not guarantee comfort either. It may even be worse inside as winter indoor air quality can drastically go down as the temperature plummets. In this article, we explore why this happens, how it impacts our health, and what we can do to improve the situation.
- 1 9 Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality During Winter
- 2 How Poor Indoor Air Quality Impacts Our Health
- 3 9 Tips To Improve Indoor Air Quality During The Heating Season
- 3.1 1. Maintain Cleanliness At All Times
- 3.2 2. Have The Ductwork Inspected
- 3.3 3. Ensure Regular Air Filter Replacement
- 3.4 4. Study The Possibility Of A Filter Upgrade
- 3.5 5. Stop The Pollutants At The Source
- 3.6 6. Dial-Up The Ventilation Where Needed
- 3.7 7. Obtain An Air Purifier To Improve Particle Capture
- 3.8 8. Increase Humidity As Necessary
- 3.9 9. Install Air-Heat Exchangers
- 3.10 Conclusion
- 4 Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
9 Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality During Winter
No one should feel helpless when dealing with hazardous air in their home. This is a known issue with proven solutions. It is possible to intervene and makes things better for the health of everyone in the house. Read on to understand what’s happening and get tips on how air quality can be enhanced. Implementing these should make your home more pleasant throughout the coldest months of the year.
Why Indoor Air Quality Gets Worse In Winter
HVAC systems are costly to operate. They require a tremendous amount of energy to maintain ideal conditions indoors. Highly insulated homes became popular because they offer better efficiency and lower energy costs. The airtight design prevents warm air from escaping so the heating equipment does not have to work as hard as before. However, this can cause the buildup of unwanted particles indoors including pollen, dust, mold spores, chemical fumes, volatile organic compounds, and other indoor air pollutants. The recirculated air carries these contaminants across the home to the detriment of the occupants. Indoor air also tends to get drier in winter which makes the environment uncomfortable for people.
How Poor Indoor Air Quality Impacts Our Health
The effects on human health vary depending on the severity of the problem and the length of exposure. Poor indoor air quality may not be too much of an issue for visitors but it can greatly affect household occupants who are exposed to the pollutants on a regular basis. Below are some of the ways that this can impact human health according to the US Environmental Protection Agency:
1. Mild Irritation
People might experience irritation of their eyes, throat, and nose after exposure. The effect will be greater for those who are allergic to the particles present in the environment. In most cases, the problem goes away after the person leaves the premises.
2. Chronic Fatigue
Those who live in homes with bad air quality might find their immune system overwhelmed by the contaminants. They might complain about episodes of dizziness and headaches. They could also feel chronic fatigue which can negatively affect their overall well-being.
3. Respiratory Disease
Individuals with existing respiratory diseases can find themselves getting worse. The pollutants can trigger their condition such as asthma, for example, so they have to be ready to deal with this.
Some of the particles in the air might be carcinogenic. One common example is Radon which is a substance that can cause lung cancer. Other compounds are being studied for their possible link to cancer.
A few toxic gasses like carbon monoxide can cause death even with short-term exposure. This gas is a byproduct of combustion and is undetectable by the human senses.
9 Tips To Improve Indoor Air Quality During The Heating Season
1. Maintain Cleanliness At All Times
Dust often settles on surfaces. These can float back up in the air and affect people if disturbed. Minimize airborne pollutants by dusting and vacuuming regularly. Those in-charge of cleaning should wear proper protection such as air filter masks. Additional non-toxic cleaning products might also be used.
2. Have The Ductwork Inspected
Air travels across the home through the ducts. Dirt can build up inside and reduce the quality of the indoor air. Ask an HVAC contractor to inspect the condition of ducts. Technicians can find and repair leaks. They may also be able to clean up the interior.
3. Ensure Regular Air Filter Replacement
HVAC systems have air filters to block unwanted particles. These serve as the first line of defense against pollutants. However, they can only work for a certain period before they get overwhelmed. Make it a habit to replace the filters according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. However, it is important to note that air filter replacement schedules vary from one house to another. Homes with pets, for example, require more air filter replacements than homes without pets. Therefore, it is good practice to inspect your filter on monthly basis and replace it when it is dirty.
4. Study The Possibility Of A Filter Upgrade
Basic filters are only able to capture large airborne particles. Smaller indoor air pollutants slip through and cause problems indoors. Upgrading to high-efficiency filters can solve this problem but this might require additional system changes to ensure smooth airflow. Talk to your HVAC contractor.
5. Stop The Pollutants At The Source
Find the main sources of pollutants and deal with them one by one. Examples include old heating equipment, toxic cleaning solutions, and hazardous building materials. Experts may come down to inspect the premises, present their findings, and offer solutions.
6. Dial-Up The Ventilation Where Needed
Check for signs of poor ventilation such as mold, odors, and wall condensation. This could be worse in some areas so focus on those. Spaces that often need great ventilation are kitchens and bathrooms. During home improvement projects, provide adequate ventilation when painting and sanding surfaces.
7. Obtain An Air Purifier To Improve Particle Capture
The built-in air filters in the HVAC system may not always be enough to get the job done. It is often a good idea to use an air purifier to improve particle capture. Some models also have activated carbon filters that eliminate odors and kill pathogens. Speak to your heating and cooling contractor about solutions that work in conjunction with your HVAC system.
8. Increase Humidity As Necessary
Winter air can be extremely dry. This can result in dry nasal passages and throats. Use a humidifier to increase the indoor humidity until it reaches normal levels. Again, speak to your HVAC contractor about whole-house humidifiers.
9. Install Air-Heat Exchangers
These are meant to remove polluted indoor air and replace it with fresh air from the outside. They can do this without needing the energy to heat up the incoming air for an economical solution.
Winter does not have to be a long period of suffering for people in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Owners may implement the indoor air quality improvement tips above to make the season more pleasant for everyone. Contact reputable HVAC contractors for assistance and begin the process as soon as possible.
Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
McAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, energy audits, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.
Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with a highly energy-efficient HVAC replacement system that fits your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.