As the days get shorter and the temperatures grow colder, all of us will be spending more time indoors. While being warm and cozy during the winter sounds fantastic, this increased amount of time indoors may be detrimental to your health.
During warmer weather, we’re able to open the windows and screen doors to bring lots of fresh air into our homes and offices. However, in the winter months, all windows are closed, the screens are replaced with glass and the fresh air is banished. With no fresh air circulating in households and workplaces, impurities run rampant in the indoor air. And these impurities negatively affect indoor air quality.
If the quality of your indoor air is poor, then you may have trouble breathing, become more susceptible to colds and illness, feel fatigued and experience frequent headaches, dizziness and dry/sore throat and nose. If you have medical conditions such as asthma or allergies, your symptoms may be more severe thanks to the increased impurities in your air.
So how can you improve your indoor air quality during the winter months? Follow these steps below, and you’ll be able to reduce impurities and refine your indoor air.
When winters are extremely cold and bitter, that means your HVAC unit is running full blast. The good news is that you’ll be warm and toasty. The bad news is that the air which is circulating throughout your home or business is filled with dust, dirt, and impurities.
The good news is that you can reduce the amount of these harmful elements in your air by cleaning your ductwork. Scheduling a professional duct cleaning service to remove the dirt, dust, cobwebs, and other contaminants from your HVAC’s ventilation system is a simple way to improve your indoor air quality. As an added bonus, scheduling these frequent cleanings will help your HVAC unit perform better and possibly lower your energy bills.
Clean Furnaces and Fireplaces
Much like an HVAC unit, furnaces can be affected by dirt, dust and debris build-up. That in turn affects your air quality. To ensure that your furnace is functioning properly and not spreading impurities in the air, schedule an annual maintenance appointment with a professional service. They’ll not only clean your furnace, they’ll replace its filter which will help rid your indoor air of harmful contaminants.
Relaxing by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night is wonderful. What’s not so great is breathing in harmful pollutants (like carbon monoxide) caused by wood smoke and improper ventilation. If you want to enjoy your wood-burning fireplace without damaging your air quality, make sure your wood is dry and your flue is open for proper ventilation.
Even though gas-burning fireplaces release less pollutants, they still can affect your air quality. No matter which type of fireplace you use, make sure it and the chimney are thoroughly cleaned and inspected every year. And for total peace of mind, purchase a carbon monoxide detector for the room where the fireplace is located.
Add Plants to Your Home and Office
Decorating your home or office with plants is an easy way to create a more welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. But did you know that these plants also naturally clean and purify your indoor air?
Adding more plants to your home or workplace during the winter is a great way to help rid of air pollutants and toxins while you’re indoors. Read up to find out which plants thrive best in indoor environments. And, if you’re a dog or cat owner, be sure to select plants that are safe for your pets.
Check Humidity Levels
Maintaining a consistent and comfortable humidity level is key to improving your indoor air quality. If your humidity level is too high not only will you feel hot, you’ll also find it more difficult to breathe. This is especially concerning if you have asthma. However, if the humidity level is too low, the air will be too dry. Breathing dry air can cause sore throats, itchy eyes, dry nasal passages, and cracked dry skin.
The optimal humidity level for the winter months is between 30%-50%. So how do you find this perfect level? First, buy an inexpensive digital hygrometer and use it to measure and monitor your humidity level. If your home or office seems to be consistently humid, you can remedy this matter by purchasing a dehumidifier. If the opposite is true, you can prevent dry air by purchasing a humidifier.
Indoor Air Quality Testing and Inspection
Perhaps the best way to ensure excellent indoor air quality is to request the services of an IAQ specialist. IAQ technicians will test your indoor air to identify the specific pollutants and particles that are present. If any extremely harmful particles are present, the IAQ specialist will take immediate action through temporary air remediation methods. After multiple tests, the IAQ professional will develop a plan to improve your indoor air quality. Their plan may recommend the installation of humidifiers, dehumidifiers, HEPA air purifiers, or other devices to elevate your indoor air quality.
If you’re concerned about the quality of your indoor air, contact FloodCo USA! Our trained and certified IAQ technicians are at your service! They’ll perform all of the required tests and install all of the necessary equipment to improve your indoor air quality. Then you, your family, or your coworkers can breathe easier this winter – and the rest that follow!