Whether you are a fan of winter or not, the colder months can bring issues most of us would rather not deal with. Shoveling snow, slippery sidewalks…and poor indoor air quality, to name a few. It is not as obvious as a lawn covered in sparkling white snow, but indoor air quality can definitely be affected by the cold air outside – and it is important to take action to correct it.
How Does the Weather Affect Indoor Air Quality?
When the outside temperatures fall, homeowners do everything they can to keep the cold air out of the house. Energy efficient doors and windows and high-quality insulation go a long way to keeping the house airtight and reducing energy bills. But it also leads to an increase in breathing recirculated air potentially filled with dust, bacteria and viruses, mold spores and other pollutants and odors. Over time, poor indoor air quality can cause problems like headaches and fatigue and illnesses like pneumonia, and can worsen conditions like asthma and other respiratory problems.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Fortunately, there are ways to help improve the indoor air quality in your home, even during the cold winter months.
- Clean more frequently – cleaning more often gets rids of dust and other pollutants and keeps them from being recycled. Just make sure to use non-toxic cleaning supplies to avoid chemical fumes.
- Increase ventilation – this can be done naturally, by opening a door or window to let fresh air into the house, or by installing an energy-efficient heat recovery ventilator (also known as an air-to-air heat exchanger). It is especially important to do this in areas where there has been painting, welding or the use of kerosene heaters in order to eliminate toxic pollutants.
- Change air filters often – filters on the HVAC system can get very dirty in winter when the heat is running constantly. Replace them with high-quality clean filters regularly to help reduce air pollutants.
- Remove the source of the pollutant – gas stoves create significantly higher levels of emissions. When possible, make sure yours is adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. Keep burners free of food debris, turn on the range hood when cooking, and try to avoid excess use of fireplaces or wood stoves.
- Have the air quality professionally tested – The way to be truly sure that there are no harmful contaminants in the air is to monitor for carbon monoxide and test the air professionally. Lakes Area Home Inspections can test for radon gas, one of the most deadly indoor air pollutants, and hundreds of other harmful compounds that could be polluting the air in your home.
Contact Lakes Area Home Inspections today at 262-818-0911 for professional air quality testing this winter. We not only provide the most detailed, thorough home inspections by certified, knowledgeable inspectors, but we also help to ensure that you have a safe and healthy environment to live in.
LAHI serves the entire area of Northern IL and Southern WI. If you are in Wauconda, Lake Zurich, Des Plaines, Lake in the HIlls or the surrounding areas, give us a call at (224) 334-8885 so we can get you on our schedule