Winter is a funny season. Some days are freezing cold with heavy snow, while others are mild and rainy.
What is consistent throughout winter is that the indoor air quality of your home deteriorated.
Do you have any allergy sufferers in your home? Have you found it harder to breathe or be comfortable as winter progressed?
Or has anyone’s asthma been worse than usual?
Here’s why that is.
The energy-efficiency of your home
- In winter, homes hold heat in and keep cold air out
- In summer, homes hold cold air in and keep warm air out
When you winterized your home back in late November/early December, you probably sealed drafty windows and replaced old insulation with new in order to keep cold drafts out.
While prudent, it also cut fresh air from entering the house.
That lack of fresh air boosted the amount of allergens and pollutants found circulating throughout the home.
If you used a wood-burning or gas fireplace, or any appliance reliant on combustion, such as:
Then it’s important to ensure they’re working properly (even after winter) and have them serviced with ongoing maintenance protection.
Throughout the winter, they may not have burned their fuels properly.
The result could be something quite serious, like carbon monoxide build-up.
More time (and people) spent indoors
Something to remember is that winter lasted from December to March, which is a busy time of year with things like:
- Christmas holidays
- Winter break
- New Year’s
- Back to school in January
- March break
During winter, you probably spent more time indoors. That’s just natural.
But if you hosted some (or all) of those events in your home, the combination of extra people, body heat, and skin and follicle depletion negatively impacted your indoor air quality.
And if you cleaned your home on a regular basis with products like:
- Air fresheners
- Disinfecting sprays
- Furniture polish
You released aerosol pollutants such as formaldehyde into your home.
Dirty furnace filters
Perhaps the most obvious contributor to poor indoor air quality in winter is dirty furnace filters.
All winter long, they worked hard to keep your home warm, toasty, and comfortable.
That also means they’re trapped airborne contaminants like:
- Pet dander
- Mold and mildew spores (which can also be removed with duct cleaning from Advantage AirTech ClimateCare)
- Dust mites and other insect waste
- Pollen from winter-blooming plants
If you haven’t replaced your furnace filter in a few months (perhaps the last time it was done was the beginning of winter) – and notice the air quality inside your home isn’t ideal – the two are probably connected.
What poor indoor air quality is doing to your health
Some negative health effects are immediate, such as:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
On the other hand, there are long-term health implications to poor indoor air quality:
- Aggravated asthma (if you already suffer from it)
- Skin sensitivity
- Chronic coughs
Easy-to-follow tips to improve indoor air quality after winter
- Clean your home regularly using organic cleaning products and soft dust cloths
- Wear a mask as you clean the house
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly
- Keep bedding clean by washing it weekly in hot water
- Air out moisture-prone rooms like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements
- Open windows and doors whenever possible to allow fresh air into your home
- Place clean air plants in your home (like English Ivy & Aloe Vera)
- Test for radon, which comes from decaying soil
Let Advantage AirTech ClimateCare help with your indoor air quality
Since you spend more time at home than anywhere else, your indoor air quality should be clean and pure.
Not just in winter, but all year long.
If the air quality inside your home is poor or unhealthy, it’s not something you should wait to get done.
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