Indoor Air Quality Naturally Suffers in Winter: 9 Ways to Change That
With the winter winds blowing, most people are staying inside with the doors and windows tightly shut. That keeps the cold air out. But, it also keeps all the pollutants, allergens and other irritants in. Indoor air quality in winter can be worse than smog in the big cities.
How to Make Your Home’s IAQ Better
Fortunately, there are many ways to change that, including the following:
- The worst indoor pollutant is tobacco smoke. It lingers in the air and settles on most surfaces. Make it a rule that no one smokes in the house.
- Dust mites are another common indoor pollutant. While you can’t get rid of all these microscopic creatures, you can minimize their presence. Wash bedding and pillows in hot water, and use sealed covers over mattresses and pillows.
- Use a HEPA filtration vacuum regularly to remove dust and debris from your home. Empty the canister or bag outside the home to keep pollutants from re-entering the home.
- Check your home for mold. Mold spores are a major pollutant at certain levels. Look for leaks and damp areas where mold may be growing.
- If you’re painting your home, choose low or no-VOC paint.
- If you’re selecting new textiles like carpeting or curtains, choose manufacturers that use no harsh chemicals like formaldehyde.
- Have your home checked for radon. Radon is a radioactive naturally-occurring gas that’s a leading cause of lung cancer. If you do have radon issues, have a professional install an elimination system.
- Make sure all fuel-burning appliances, such as the stove, furnace and fireplace, have proper ventilation. Have an HVAC technician check that the gas furnace or boiler is properly venting to the outside.
- Talk with an HVAC contractor about adding ventilation to your home. There are ways of ventilating air from the home that won’t interfere with the HVAC system’s ability to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
If you need help improving your home’s indoor air quality in winter, contact HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve the Fairfax and Arlington area of Virginia.
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