We’re not wishing away the mild, comfortable fall weather anytime soon. But we like to be prepared, so we’re taking a look ahead to getting the home ready for the upcoming winter season.
As cold temperatures and mixed precipitation set in across the country, the air quality in your home can be impacted by a number of factors. (So can the air outside.) Let’s review the most common sources of indoor air pollution during the winter, and see how to fix them with the AprilAire Healthy Air System®.
Tightly Sealed Homes
In wintertime, we want to shut out the cold and keep our homes insulated from whatever is going on outdoors. While keeping doors and windows shut and closing up any cold drafts are good for comfort and your heating bill, they also stop fresh outdoor air from coming into your home. This is especially true for newly constructed homes that prioritize a tight seal.
To get the best of both worlds—efficient heating and fresh air—look at installing a fresh air ventilation system and whole-house air purifier for improved Indoor Air Quality in the winter and year-round.
Mold and Mildew
A tight seal in the home can also cause moisture to become trapped, leading to the growth of mold and mildew, which negatively impact Indoor Air Quality and can cause odors or ruin woodwork and furniture.
Make sure to use the exhaust hood above your stove when cooking and in the laundry room, and keep the bathroom fan on for about 30 minutes after showering to allow steam to escape. An AprilAire whole-house dehumidifier can also help maintain a balanced humidity level of 40–60%.
Do you sneeze every time the furnace kicks in? Your heating system might have an old air filter that’s recirculating dust and other allergy irritants. Plus, if you’re using a gas stove, wood stove, or fireplace for heat, be aware of high carbon dioxide levels and increased particulate matter in your air.
Install a new air filter in your furnace (AprilAire filters should be replaced every 6–12 months) and make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly near combustion sources. (And don’t forget about radon.)
Drop in Humidity
The process of heating your home can zap moisture from the air and lead to itchy skin, dry sinuses, and even static shocks. Low relative humidity indoors can also make you sick. Plus, dry air doesn’t hold heat as well as moist air, creating the need to heat your home even more to feel warm.
Extreme winter weather can make it unsafe for pets to be outdoors for any extended period of time. That means you get the benefit of their snuggles all winter long, but you also have to deal with more shedded hair and pet dander in the house.
If pet hair becomes an issue, increase the frequency of vacuuming and dusting in high-traffic areas. Plus, an AprilAire whole-house air purifier can reduce the amount of hair and dander circulating throughout your home. For areas your pets hang out in often, a room air purifier can be an effective supplement.