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How to Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality in Winter26 Oct

During the cold, winter months, most of us are prone to spending most of our time indoors. With reduced ventilation, supplemental heating sources, and dry winter air, it is difficult to maintain optimal indoor air quality.
Cold, dry weather in the winter can cause dry, chapped, painful skin. Since a well-insulated house is never completely sealed, the air can dry out when the outside temperature is below freezing. When the cold air seeps into your home, the indoor air becomes very dry and uncomfortable, drying out your nose and throat, making you and your family more susceptible to illness. Investing in a humidifier to maintain optimal moisture in the air will go a long way in reducing dryness on the skin, lips, nose, and throat. While increased moisture during the winter is important, it is crucial to ensure that the moisture levels do not rise to a point that is conducive to the growth of mold.

Many people use supplemental heat sources to keep their homes warm in the winter, such as wood burning stoves. Wood stoves can create indoor air pollutants that can pose serious health risks, and produce carbon monoxide, which in excess can cause headaches, dizziness, trouble thinking, and even death. To keep your family safe without sacrificing warmth, it is important to maintain proper ventilation, install a carbon monoxide detector, and have your wood stove inspected by a professional once a year.

During the winter, pollutants like tobacco, VOCs, odors, dust mites, and other particles are often trapped and circulated throughout the house due to reduced ventilation. Since opening windows is not possible in frigid temperatures, the next best option is to keep your home and air clean. Wipe down surfaces, mop the floors, and vacuum often to stay ahead of dust, allergens, and odors.

In addition to keeping your home clean and sanitary, take advantage of your furnace by installing a HEPA filter. When changed regularly, a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns, but if the filter gets clogged, it can recycle pollutants back into the air.

Another way to improve air quality is to have the vents in your home professionally cleaned to remove dust, debris, and to install filters in the vents. Not only will this provide cleaner air, but it will also help to improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit.

Air scrubbers are another great way to improve indoor air quality in the winter, while reducing exposure to outdoor air. Air scrubbers can remove pollutants such as dust, dust mites, pet dander, and can improve your home’s air quality by eliminating pollution, allergens, and VOCs.