How to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Winter
Blog written by Veva.
During the warmer months, maintaining air quality in your home is easy. Then come the winter months, where you and your family have to spend more time indoors, and maintaining indoor quality can be challenging.
If you hit your keyboard and search for "how to improve indoor air quality during winter," you will likely get many suggestions. One of the efficient solutions is to use an air purifier filter replacement. Still, there are other things you can do on top of using an air purifier during winter.
Let's check out why air quality matters and what you can do to improve air quality in your home during winter. But first, why does air quality matter?
Can bad air quality make you sick?
Quick answer: Yes, it can be harmful to your health, especially to young children, older adults, and pregnant women. But, what causes poor indoor quality?
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), indoor air may be more polluted than outside air. The bad quality air comes from sources that release particles or gas into the air.
Building materials and fragrances constantly emit pollutants. Other causes such as wood stoves and cigarette smoke also lead to poor indoor quality.
Some indoor air pollutants are not new. However, they are often countered by fresh air entering the house. Today's more energy-efficient homes don't take in that much air from the outside.
There are two major causes of bad air quality during winter due to the extra heating needed because of the cold.
- Carbon Monoxide: Warming your home during the winter creates carbon (IV) oxide, which is harmful to you. Women who are pregnant, babies, older adults, and people with heart and lung disease are even more sensitive to high CO levels.
- Nitrogen Dioxide: This is a combustion by-product of natural gas and kerosene. It irritates the nose, eyes, and throat and also causes respiratory distress at high concentrations.
What are the symptoms of bad air quality in the home?
The following symptoms are common when there is bad air quality in the house:
- Sinus congestion.
- Shortness of breath.
- Coughing and sneezing.
- Hypersensitivity and allergies.
- Irritative and dry eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
Does temperature affect indoor air quality?
Temperature is a good indicator of indoor air quality, since you can immediately sense the coldness or hotness of the air. Hot temperatures reduce air quality because the heat "cooks" the air and the chemicals it (air) contains. It also plays a role in air movement; warmer air moves more quickly than colder air.
How to improve indoor air quality during winter?
Here are several common indoor air quality problems during the winter and ways to improve them.
1. Inadequate Air Ventilation and Circulation
The cold weather in winter demands the closing of windows and doors and shutting down of storm windows. Sealing off the windows using plastic insulation further limits air circulation in your home.
Opening windows is one of the most effective ways to improve air quality in your home, but this is not possible in the winter season. Air pollutants such as unpleasant smells, cigarette smoke, and dust mites keep piling up.
One of the effective ways to deal with this problem is to do more cleaning. Wipe down surfaces, vacuum, and mop your home to remove these pollutants. It would be best also to remember to clean out your vents since they build up to clog and reduce ventilation.
Some heating systems come with air filters that need to be changed regularly. It would be best to replace these filters often to prevent pollutants such as mites, dust, mites, and bacteria from encroaching into your house.
These are the various ways you can keep the air in your home fresh:
- airing out the house
- installing an air purifier
- raising houseplants
- replacing the air filters
- diffusing essential oils
- cooking with high heat oil
2. Dry Winter Air
If you have ever been in a cold climate, you've probably experienced dry, cracked lips and skin. Cold weather can also make the inside of your nose dry and cracked.
Too much dry air can increase your probability of getting sick. A dry nose without adequate mucus cannot catch germs before they get into your system.
You can use a humidifier or keep houseplants to increase moisture in your home and solve your dry winter air problem.
3. Pet Dander Build-Up
Pets are part of most families, and as you spend more of your time indoors during winter, your pet is also likely to be with you. Pets can build a thick winter coat fur, and some shedding and dander are bound to fall.
This dander can build up and affect the quality of indoor air. Pet dander can be allergic, leading to a stuffy nose and watery and itchy eyes.
You should groom and brush your pet regularly. But avoid giving them as this can be detrimental as it can cause their skin to produce excess oil. It would help if you also cleaned up frequently to prevent dander build-up.
4. Pollutants from Combustion
Using a supplemental heat source such as a wood stove to keep homes warmer is popular with many people. Though they generate a lot of heat, they also yield harmful by-products: Carbon monoxide (CO). CO is not only harmful to your health; it can also be fatal.
Ensure your water heater, furnace, and stove are correctly installed and maintained. There's enough ventilation to prevent a build-up of CO.
How Air Purifiers Can Improve Winter Air Quality
Many things that affect the quality of indoor air in winter make an air purifier an excellent choice. Many common ways to improve indoor air quality are eliminated by lowering the air and accessing the outside air.
Air purifiers can remove VOCs from dirt such as house dust mites, pet hair, other disease-resistant substances, and wood and cigarette smoke. There are many air purification technologies out there, some of which are strong and some weak.
Air purifiers that can remove particulate matter and VOCs can improve indoor air quality in winter. Unlike traditional vacuum filters that collect only particles, Veva vacuum filters and air filters, in general, destroy common household air pollutants such as allergens and VOCs.
People spend more time indoors during winter, making air quality even more crucial. They avoid opening their doors and windows to keep out the draft, but this traps bad indoor air that contains all the impurities from home.
As homes are becoming more energy-efficient, there are even fewer ways for fresh air to enter your home and ventilate it. Thankfully, there are cost-effective ways you can keep your indoor air clean and healthy. Contact Us for effective air purifiers that will help keep your indoor air quality clean this winter.
Contributing Writer: Erik Wickline