Winter is the time of year when your HVAC system is working at its peak. While it’s very important to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible, it’s also important to maintain good indoor air quality during these cold months. The National Institute of Health estimates over 50% of the population will suffer from symptoms related to poor indoor air quality at some point in their lives. It’s a huge problem, and it can be hard to diagnose. Breathing in poor-quality air can cause respiratory irritation, allergies, and asthma. That’s why maintaining indoor air quality is essential.
Inside your home or office, you might be exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold and mildew, dust mites, pollen, bacteria, viruses, and more. But don’t panic, there are a number of ways to improve your indoor air quality.
Here are some of the most common factors that negatively impact indoor air quality, especially during the colder months:
- Poor ventilation: One of the main ways heaters cause indoor air quality issues is by not venting enough air. If you’re using a fireplace or space heater, ensure a good system for venting out smoke and carbon monoxide.
- Dry air indoors: Static electricity is common in dry, indoor air and attracts dirt and dust particles into your HVAC system. Static electricity also causes those particles to stick together, so they collect on filters and other parts of your HVAC system. Here they cause damage over time through clogs or corrosion.
- Heating systems: If your heater is not working properly or has been neglected over time, it could emit dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide into your home.
So what to do?
First, ensure plenty of fresh air comes into your home through windows or vents. If there isn’t enough ventilation in your home already, consider getting a window fan or other ventilator to help circulate air around the house. Always ensure that any new additions or remodels take airflow patterns into account.
It’s also wise to consider a humidifier. Humidifiers maintain optimal moisture levels in your home and prevent dry skin or chapped lips from cold weather exposure. Humidity levels should be between 30% and 50% throughout the house during winter. If you live in a dry climate like Arizona, they can be a lifesaver.
In some homes, air purifiers are also considered a necessity – especially in areas prone to wildfire smoke or urban pollution. Getting a proper air purification system for your home will help eliminate common allergens and other pollutants.
Here are some other easy ways to maintain indoor air quality year-round:
- Clean your HVAC system regularly so it doesn’t release particles into the air
- Make sure there aren’t any leaks in your HVAC system
- Get an indoor air quality monitor
- Make sure to change your filters regularly
- Clean up any spills immediately to prevent the growth of mold spores
- Keep your house well ventilated
- Use only electric heaters in rooms where you spend most of your time
- If you use wood stoves, ensure they’re correctly installed and well maintained
- Make sure all combustion-type appliances (furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, etc.) are vented to an outside wall
- Use an air purifier
- Open windows and doors while cooking or showering to help remove contaminants from the air.
- Ventilation should be increased when not running the heating system so air can circulate freely through the house
- Properly maintain your HVAC system
Need help with air quality issues in the Phoenix Metro area? Your comfort is safe with Martin Air! Backed by decades of experience, our courteous and dependable service technicians have served as a trusted choice for home and business owners throughout Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, and the Queen Creek area.
If you need a new system or preventative maintenance our highly skilled technicians can help meet your needs, 24/7. Get in touch at 480-447-1744