Why You Should Get An Indoor Air Quality Check This Winter

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Winterizing your home helps seal in warm air and keep out drafts, but it can also seal in many types of airborne contaminants. That’s why one of the most important parts of winterization is an indoor air quality check. Poor indoor air quality can exacerbate existing health issues, create new problems and make winter more uncomfortable than it needs to be.

Many factors can affect indoor air quality, including the presence of dust, smoke, pet hair, and volatile organic compounds. VOCs are chemical compounds found in a variety of products and materials, such as paint, cleaning supplies, and furniture. They can cause a range of health issues, from headaches and dizziness to more serious respiratory problems. An indoor air quality check is the best way to identify any VOCs in your home and take steps to reduce or eliminate them.

Full-Service Home Winterization

Employee performing filter change for a indoor air quality check

In addition to checking for VOCs, an indoor air quality check can also help identify mold, dust, pollen, and other allergens that can make winter more uncomfortable. These airborne irritants can cause a range of symptoms, from itchy eyes and sneezing to more serious respiratory issues. We at Absolute Air will help identify these issues so that you can take the necessary steps to reduce or eliminate them.

Finally, an air quality check can help identify any issues with ventilation and airflow. Poor airflow can lead to stale air, which can be uncomfortable and cause respiratory issues. An indoor air quality check this winter can help ensure that you and your family have a comfortable and healthy season.

How Outdoor Air Affects Indoor Air Quality

When cold air causes condensation indoors, it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. On the other hand, warm air can bring in higher levels of pollutants, such as pollen, dust, and other allergens, and these contaminants can linger in your home until the next cleaning. Additionally, wind can pick up and disperse pollutants directly into your home through gaps in doors and windows or even through HVAC ventilation systems.

However, proper ventilation can help reduce or eliminate the amount of cold and warm air that enters your home. By controlling the amount of air coming inside, you can reduce the pollutants coming in, as well. And when it comes to cold air, the best way to reduce condensation is to increase ventilation to expel indoor moisture.

Your type of ventilation system matters. A positive-pressure ventilation system can help keep pollutants from entering the indoor environment, while an exhaust ventilation system can help reduce levels of contaminants and pollutants already present indoors. In some cases, it may be necessary to use both types of systems to ensure good air quality.

How Spending More Time Indoors Affects Air Quality

If you spend extra time inside during winter, you may unwittingly bring airborne contaminants inside with you, including harmful compounds from polluted city air. Dirt and dust are common indoor air pollutants, and they can increase significantly the more you enter and exit your home. When dirt and dust particles become airborne, they can linger and cause a range of respiratory issues. They can also accumulate on surfaces, which can lead to the development of mold and other allergens. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean and vacuum to remove dirt and dust from the air and surfaces.

In addition to dirt and dust, clothing fibers can also affect air quality. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, can release small particles into the air, which can irritate the lungs and make it harder to breathe. Natural fibers, like cotton and wool, can also release dust particles into the air, but they’re more easily filtered out. To help reduce the amount of clothing fibers in the air, you should wash clothes regularly and use a HEPA filter.

City pollution can also have a negative effect on air quality. Pollution from vehicles and industrial activities can release pollutants into the air, which can then make their way indoors. To reduce the effects of city pollution on indoor air quality, use air purifiers and keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.

Facts About Airborne Indoor Contaminants

There are three main types of airborne contaminants: particulates, organic compounds, and gasses. Particulates are tiny particles that can originate from a variety of sources, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. VOCs, come from household sources such as paint, cleaning products, and furniture. Gasses are contaminants such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, or ozone. During winter, all of these contaminants tend to contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Air quality suffers during winter when windows and doors are closed, and the home is heated. Without proper ventilation, pollutants can become trapped indoors and build up to unhealthy levels. The lack of fresh air and increase in humidity can also contribute to the growth of mold, dust mites, and bacteria that will worsen air quality.

To reduce the risk of respiratory illness, it’s important to have your home’s air quality regularly checked by a professional. An air quality check may involve inspecting the ventilation system, cleaning and replacing air filters, and installing HEPA filters to reduce the amount of particulates in the air. You can also introduce house plants that act as natural air filters and remove toxins from the atmosphere. Lastly, reducing the use of chemical-based cleaning products and avoiding smoking indoors will also help.

Is A Wintertime Air Quality Check Really Necessary?

If your goal is to keep the air in your home safe, you should schedule a wintertime air quality check every year. An HVAC technician can help you keep the air quality in your home excellent so that you and your family can avoid allergy symptoms. At Absolute Air, we’ll inspect and clean your HVAC system and identify any leaks or other issues related to the air quality in your home. Additionally, we’ll offer advice about keeping your home’s air clean and breathable.

When it comes to indoor air quality, home winterization is a double-edged sword as it can prevent indoor air contaminants from escaping. But it also involves ensuring that your HVAC system is in top condition, which will mitigate much of the contamination. An HVAC technician from Absolute Air can inspect your system and offer advice about installing HEPA filters and other air purification devices.

In order to fully reap the benefits of a wintertime air quality check, you should stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Maintenance checks should include inspecting, cleaning, and possibly replacing air filters, inspecting and cleaning your HVAC system, and ensuring that your home’s windows and doors are properly sealed. You should also ensure that your insulation is up to date, which will help keep the temperature in your home consistent.

At Absolute Air, we specialize in repairing, servicing, and installing all types of heating and cooling equipment for folks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas. When it comes to duct cleaning, air quality checks, and indoor comfort evaluations, you can count on us to do a great job the first time. Call us at Absolute Air today to get started.

Published: January 18, 2023

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