Indoor Air Quality And Winter

bacteria spores from bad indoor air quality

Now that winter has arrived, indoor air quality may be a low priority on your list.  Like many homeowners, you associate springtime with indoor air quality problems because that is the season when the air is filled with pollen and other airborne pathogens.  Surprisingly, wintertime is when indoor air quality is poorest in most homes.

Energy Efficiency Reduces Indoor Air Quality

Taking steps to reduce your utility costs by making your home more energy efficient certainly helps keep your household budget manageable and affordable.  Measures such as insulation and high-efficiency windows and doors keep energy costs down by reducing the amount of air that escapes to the outdoors and the amount of outside air that enters your home.  The way that this is accomplished is by giving your home an airtight seal.

Airtight seals inadvertently reduce indoor air quality by the same mechanism that keeps your home energy efficient — by preventing the air inside your home from escaping.  In addition to heat, the air carries dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and odors.  These pollutants continuously cycle throughout your home, and over the winter months, the concentration of airborne contaminants gradually increases.  The holiday season also affects indoor air quality because you tend to cook more for gatherings with friends and family.

Common Sources of Airborne Pollutants

Knowing how to improve the quality of air inside your home starts with identifying the possible sources of airborne pathogens that are trapped during the winter.

  • Pets Colder outdoor temperature mean that your pets are inside more often than the summer time. Pet dander is present in your home year-round, but the autumn and winter is when your dog sheds in preparation for lower temperatures.  Shedding also occurs in the Spring and Summer, but the lost hair stays mostly outside.  With your dog staying indoors more, you may have noticed more signs of shedding on the furniture and carpeting.  The loose hair is easily lifted into the air and circulated throughout your house.
  • Cooking and Heating Firewood, kerosene, natural gas, oil and coal are combustible products that are used for cooking and heating. The combustion process releases ash and other small pollutants into the air,  Many appliances, such as clothes dryers and heating systems, are designed to efficiently deliver the pollutants outside your home, but many are not designed as well, such as fireplaces.
  • Air Fresheners We agree. There simply is nothing better than the smell of apple-cinnamon and other pleasant aromas that are generated by air fresheners, especially during the winter when we want our homes to feel cozy.  These, products, though, work by continuously releasing chemicals into the air, and those chemicals stay trapped indoors during the winter months.
  • Mold, Mildew, Tobacco Smoke, Pollen, Dust Mites are all very common in a typical Florida household. During the winter, you may also have viruses, such as influenza, floating around your home.

And Services specializes in advanced indoor air quality systems that work inside your HVAC system to safely and effectively remove the most common residential airborne pathogens.  If you would like to learn more about the quality of air inside your home and our indoor air quality solutions, contact us to schedule an in-home evaluation by one of our professional technicians.