Being indoors more often during the winter presents plenty of opportunities for family togetherness and other enjoyable moments. However, the air that’s breathed and circulated indoors during these moments may not be as safe and harmless as most people would think. Air quality issues can be just as problematic if you run a business. In fact, the EPA reports that indoor air pollutants can be 2-5 times higher than typical outdoor levels! This is why it’s important to take the right steps to improve your air quality as the temperatures drop and more time is spent indoors.
Keep Your Indoor Spaces Clean
Dirt, dust, and debris on your floor and other surfaces can end up being blown around during the winter months when your HVAC system is running. Minimize this problem by using non-toxic products to routinely clean to minimize airborne pollutants. Make your cleaning efforts even more effective by:
- Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter so you’re not recirculating dust.
- Properly ventilating the area if you’ll need to use harsh chemicals or cleaners.
- Having your ducts properly inspected just before winter to get rid of accumulated dust and debris.
Change/Clean Your Air Filters
Winter air quality can easily be affected by filters that are dirty or clogged. During the winter months, get into the habit of checking your filters at least once a month. If you have reusable air filters, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. And if you are a business owner, consider upgrading to a commercial HVAC filter with a higher filtration efficiency (MERV) rating.
Consider Trickle Vents
It’s not always practical to open your doors and windows during the winter months to improve airflow in your home and boost your indoor air quality, even in Central Texas. What you can do instead is have trickle vents installed. They allow trickles of air into your indoor spaces and polluted air to trickle outside. You’ll only notice a small stream of air, which shouldn’t affect your utility bill too much – but you will enjoy better indoor air quality!
Mitigate Other Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
If you’re a homeowner, make sure you’re not unintentionally creating additional indoor pollution. For instance, you could have the ventilation above your stove checked to make sure it’s working properly. If you’re a business owner, steps you might take include:
- Replacing or repairing equipment that’s emitting excessive fumes.
- Sealing or enclosing asbestos.
- Properly maintaining equipment used in enclosed spaces.
Boost Indoor Humidity
Extreme indoor dryness that’s common during the winter months can affect the quality of your inside air. One way to add the right amount of humidity to your air is with fan-powered humidifiers that blow moisture directly into your ducts. If you’re a homeowner, a whole-house humidifier can be a smart investment. Maintaining proper humidity levels in the winter also minimizes issues with mold and dust mites.
Improving your indoor air quality as winter approaches could also mean fewer issues with allergies and seasonal colds. Plus, there’s evidence that poor indoor air quality during winter months can contribute to pneumonia and other respiratory ailments. You’ll also benefit from being proactive about your indoor air quality in winter if you run a business since better air quality means fewer sick days and a healthier environment for your customers and employees. Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or business owner in Central Texas, better indoor air quality can make everyone breathe easier!
Ready to improve your indoor air quality before winter sets in? Contact the HVAC professionals at AirOne Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.