During the winter months, homeowners across the Indianapolis area tend to keep their homes sealed tight in an effort to stay warm and keep heating bills low. This time of year, air quality issues can arise inside the home due to seasonal temperature changes and our cold-weather habits. To help you combat discomforts that can occur, the HVAC professionals of Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning share how to improve indoor air quality in winter.
Winter Indoor Air Quality Issues
Over the winter season, Indiana households are more likely to develop poor air quality in their homes. Effective solutions for how to improve indoor air quality this time of year start with knowing the challenges you’re up against. Here’s a look at the problems we see most regarding indoor air quality in the winter.
With colder temperatures that last long stretches during the winter months, dry air is a natural occurrence. When the air temperature is low, air cannot hold as much moisture as it can at warmer temperatures. The natural result of chilly temperatures is dry winter air.
Increased Particle Pollution
The air inside your home may harbor more indoor air pollutants this time of year than during other seasons. Activities that take place inside the home over the winter, such as using the fireplace, hosting large gatherings, burning candles, using air fresheners, or bringing in new household items, can add more pollutants to the indoor environment. When homes are sealed tight to hold in heat and block out the chilly outdoor air, they can lose the natural fresh air ventilation that moves many airborne contaminants out of the living space. A lack of fresh air and ventilation traps airborne pollutants inside the living areas.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality Over the Winter Months
Exposure to poor indoor air quality over the long, cold winter air can cause some unwanted symptoms for you, your family members, your guests, and even your home itself. Dry air conditions can increase the spread of bacteria and viruses throughout the living area, resulting in illnesses amongst those living in and visiting the house. An increase in particle pollution can produce cold-like symptoms as well as worsen allergy and asthma conditions. More indoor air pollutants in the air can lead to more cleaning as surfaces dirty faster, while dry air can cause damage to the woodwork throughout the house.
Improving indoor air quality throughout the winter season starts by making changes to your daily activities, which will help reduce the number of new pollutants brought into living spaces. Using the home’s ventilation equipment properly is important, too – chimneys should be inspected and cleaned as needed, and flues opened whenever the fireplace is in use. Run exhaust fans during showers and activities that produce heat and moisture, but turn them off after you finish to avoid sending heat out of the home. Make sure to turn on your range hoods whenever you’re cooking or using the stovetop.
HVAC Help for Better Air Quality
With your home’s central heating system running frequently this time of year, the HVAC system is an important tool that can help combat indoor air quality problems in winter. Your central heating system can be paired with indoor air quality equipment to treat issues across the entire home.
When your home is suffering from poor indoor air quality, a great first step is to change your air filter. Air filters stop dirt, mold spores, pet dander, allergens, and other particles from getting into your HVAC system. When your air filter is full this particulate matter recirculates around your air ducts and can ruin the air quality inside your home.
If you changed your air filter recently, but are still looking for more ways to prevent poor indoor air quality in your home, here are some of the top HVAC solutions for how to improve air quality indoors over the winter season.
Whole-home humidifiers add moisture to the air as it circulates through your HVAC system to be heated. Installed along the ductwork leading into or out of your furnace or air handler, whole-home humidifiers either use a water panel to add moisture to air passing through or boil water to create steam that is added directly to the air supply. With the help of this equipment, you can keep indoor relative humidity levels properly balanced throughout the winter and avoid dry air discomfort.
If you need help combatting higher levels of airborne particle pollution over the winter, an air cleaner is a great tool for how to improve indoor air quality. Air cleaners are a whole house filtration system that has the power to remove larger volumes of airborne contaminants and smaller particles than your average furnace filter. These high-efficiency filtration systems remove allergens, smoke, odors, and even bacteria.
Get Assistance with How to Improve Indoor Air Quality This Winter
If you’re struggling with solutions for how to improve indoor air quality within your home this winter season, Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help. Our team of indoor air quality professionals can help you identify the specific air quality challenges your household faces and perform the trusted installation for equipment that will work with your HVAC system to combat dry air, indoor air pollution, and more. Contact us today to learn more or to request an appointment for a consultation.