There’s a lot to love about wintertime. Spending time around a crackling fire with loved ones, drinking warm drinks and playing games, or watching a movie makes for a lovely evening. Unfortunately, winter is not without its drawbacks as well, chief among them the frequent drop in home air quality it brings with it. If you find that you feel off in the winter, it may be a result of poor indoor air quality. Read on to learn what causes poor quality, the effect it has on you and how to fix it.
Causes of Poor Air Quality in Winter
Poor air quality is not a problem restricted to winter, however, there are several factors after temperatures drop that makes it more likely you’ll encounter poor air quality:
- One way to respond to the cold temperatures outside is to increase the insulation around your home. While this is great for keeping warm air in, it also keeps some of the contributing factors to poor air quality in.
- When the outdoors become less hospitable, that means more time spent indoors. Not only does this lead to more exhaling of carbon dioxide, but it also leads to causing more messes which can lower the air quality.
- A common response to the increased mess is to spend more time cleaning, but this has a trade-off. Many chemical cleaning products give off unpleasant fumes, which, combined with increased insulation, have a big effect on your air quality.
Air Quality and Your Health
Living in a home with poor air quality can have a number of negative effects on your health and happiness. In addition to feeling dizzy in the presence of too many chemicals that can’t get out, long term exposure often leads to eye, nose, and throat irritation and difficulty breathing. The longer you’re exposed to the poor quality air, the worse your symptoms are likely to get.
How to Improve Your Air Quality
The good news is that you don’t have to take decreased air quality lying down. There are plenty of options for improving the quality of air in your home or apartment:
- One of the biggest causes of poor air quality is dust in the air. By dusting and vacuuming regularly, you limit dust without using chemicals.
- A home heating and cooling system plays a big role in keeping air clean, but it can’t do that if your filters are clogged and vents are dirty. Regular cleaning keeps your air as clean as possible.
- If you’ve got pets, you know that shedding can be a nightmare. While winter often means less shedding, this gets canceled out to some extent by the poorer ventilation. Make sure to regularly brush and wash your pets throughout the winter to reduce shedding and dander.
- Schedule regular HVAC cleanings. While the exact time between cleanings can vary by unit, yearly check-ups are a reliable minimum. The start of winter is a great time to get a professional out to look at your unit, identify any possible concerns, and fix them before the cold weather arrives.
Whether you love winter or can’t wait for warm weather to return, everyone has a better time when air quality is high. Use these tips to make you and your family happier this winter.
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