What to Know About Winter Indoor Air Quality
Winter is an important time to keep indoor air quality in mind. With the cold temperatures outside, many people keep their windows and doors closed in order to stay warm. This can cause the air inside your home to become stale and polluted – something that can have a negative effect on your health.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
Indoor air pollution in the winter can be caused by a variety of sources, including the burning of fuel for heating, inadequate ventilation, and inadequate maintenance of HVAC systems. Burning fuels such as wood and coal can release pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide into the air. These pollutants can contribute to indoor air pollution. Poorly maintained HVAC systems can also cause indoor air pollution as they can circulate dust, dirt, and other allergens throughout your home.
Also, daily activities like cooking, cleaning, and even showering can cause indoor air pollution. Cooking releases smoke, oils, and particles into the air that can irritate the respiratory system. Cleaning supplies may contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to inhale. And showering, houseplants, or just humans staying indoors for extended periods of time all release water vapors that provide the perfect environment for mold, bacteria, and viruses to grow. Therefore, any house that doesn’t have proper ventilation during the winter is susceptible
How to Prevent Indoor Air Pollution in the Winter
Some of the main ways to reduce or prevent indoor air pollution in the winter include:
Replacing Furnace and HVAC filters
First, make sure you’re regularly changing out your furnace and HVAC filters. Furnace and HVAC filters capture dust, dirt, and other particles that can build up in the air over time and reduce its overall quality. To maintain healthy levels of indoor air, it’s recommended that you change out your filter every two or three months – or more often if you have pets or allergies.
Using a Whole House Fan
Whole house fans draw in fresh air from outside and circulate it throughout the home via a series of ducts and vents. This helps remove stagnant air from your home while also cooling it down quickly, which in turn reduces humidity levels and keeps allergens at bay. In addition, whole house fans use significantly less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems – making them not only great for improving indoor air quality but also saving you money on utilities.
During the winter, you can run your whole house fan to clear out indoor air pollutants. Because whole house fans are so effective, you should be able to clear out the air in your home quickly, and then once it's done you can close the windows back up and crank the heat.
Performing Regular Home Cleaning
Finally, make sure you’re regularly cleaning your home throughout the winter season by vacuuming carpets and rugs frequently as well as wiping down surfaces with a damp cloth. Dusting off furniture and surfaces will help remove any debris which could be polluting the air inside your home – especially if anyone in the household has allergies or asthma.