Aspen Heating and Air knows all about keeping your house air quality high during the winter months. So, why is it so important? When the weather gets cold, we spend more time indoors and typically have all the windows closed up tight. All that stagnant air can lead to odors, mold and mildew growth, and so much more. It also breeds viruses, which is why your entire family might come down with the same flu.
Now that you’re thoroughly grossed out, let’s move on to what could be causing air quality issues and what methods work best when it comes to keeping your air quality high during the winter months.
The usual culprits:
- DIRTY OR FAULTY CENTRAL HEATING is a bad thing so be sure to have your central heating systems cleaned and looked at by the professionals on a yearly basis.
- DIRTY AC UNITS need to be cleaned at least yearly. Have the filters changed out and/or replaced with the latest pleated, electrostatic and electronic filters available.
- DAMAGED FLUE PIPES AND CHIMNEYS should be dealt with and cleaned.
- EXCESSIVE HUMIDITY produces more dust mites and mold, so it needs to be monitored and eliminated if possible.
The proven solutions:
- HOME FILTRATION SYSTEMS may be a good option, especially if you suffer from allergies. UVGI cleaners use ultraviolet radiation that may destroy biological pollutants such as viruses, bacteria, allergens, molds, and more that are airborne or growing on HVAC surfaces, such as the cooling coils, drain pans, or ductwork. PCO cleaners destroy gaseous pollutants by converting them into a harmless substance but are not designed to remove particulate pollutants.
- PUT YOUR THERMOSTAT to “fan on” mode to boost air quality.
- CLEAN YOUR HOME regularly to eliminate dust and pet dander.
- REPLACE FURNACE FILTERS regularly. Your furnace filter is working hard during winter to keep the air clean.
- UPGRADE YOUR FILTERS to Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filters. They are a bit more expensive but may be worth it.
- TEST FOR RADON. Check the EPA’s website for more information on cancer-causing effects of this toxic substance. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell, or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home that is lurking.
- BUY A CARBON MONOXIDE detector to help detect this odorless substance. It could save lives.
- USE NON-TOXIC CLEANING PRODUCTS, from laundry to personal care.
- LOOK FOR LOW VOC PRODUCTS and use them in every part of your home when possible.
- AIR OUT your home whenever possible by taking advantage of a sunny but cool winter day.
Keeping Your Air Quality High During the Winter Months
The key to saving money and your health with the above tips is to have a yearly maintenance program set in place to ensure your HVAC system is running properly and functioning at its best. The time and investment you put into that will ensure your health, as well as ensure your equipment lasts longer than if you were to neglect the safety and maintenance checks altogether. Because they’re machines that constantly filter airborne dust and dirt particles, they need to be cleaned often.
Keeping up a maintenance program will protect you throughout the winter when roaring fireplaces, wood stoves and even idling vehicles, all add to higher levels of matter (smoke) and carbon monoxide (vehicle emissions) in our air. How does this work? Well, cold temperatures and stagnant air create a build-up near the ground. That’s because cold air is trapped by a layer of warm air which acts like a lid holding down the toxic substances. When smoke can’t rise, carbon monoxide reaches unhealthy levels.
Wind, rain and snow storms that blow through then act like a “cleaning house” session because they help clear out and get rid of unhealthy air. It can be a big relief.
Proper HVAC maintenance also reduces your risk of “sick home syndrome”. Indoor air pollutants are the most guilty of making the air in your home unhealthy include. The list certainly includes wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, as well as water heaters, dryers, stoves, perfumes, scented products, paint, air fresheners, glue, carpeting and cleaning products. Outdoor sources such as dust and particles, radon, mold, pesticides, building chemicals, and pets all contribute to poor health in the home.
Try to be aware of the source of these pollutants and if possible do your party to eliminate them. There are a host of natural remedies you can easily use for your home. Here are just a few: plants, air purifiers, essential oils, diffusers, herbs and open air windows to allow for a breeze. For more info on sick home syndrome and sick building syndrome, read here.
Remember as a kid, when our parents constantly told us to go outside and play and get some fresh air? Well, they had a good reason. Young kids and the elderly are highly susceptible to indoor air pollutants, so if you are noticing an increase in breathing issues or more colds and cases of flu than usual, you may have a serious problem with your home’s air quality. Do your part by following some of the advice listed above. And if you have an older home that needs some upgrading on its HVAC system, just give us a call.
Your health is important! So, don’t take chances. Keeping your home air quality high during the winter months can save you from countless visits to the doctor for respiratory issues, headaches, fatigue, viruses and much more. By creating a healthy environment for your family, friends, loved ones and even pets, you can spend more quality time together. And that’s always a good thing.
Allow Aspen Heating and Air to attend to all your air quality concerns and give great advice on ways to keep it that way. We are the experts in the field, offering expert service and maintenance, as well as a full line of popular brand name HVAC units to choose from if a replacement or upgrade is ever needed.