It’s January in Middle Tennessee, and we’re finally beginning to see colder weather and even a little snow. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter, but the cold temperatures always show up eventually! January and February are typically some of the coldest months of the year. With the days becoming colder, that means we’re all spending more time inside. People don’t typically venture out when it’s below freezing except for the most essential reasons: school, work, and going to the store. If you were caught off-guard by the colder temperatures we’ve seen recently, you may not have been prepared.
Did you have your heating unit checked out before the winter? If not, you could be suffering some cold temperatures in your home. Being comfortable is definitely of utmost importance when it’s cold out, but another concern that you may not have thought about involves your indoor air quality. With all that time spent indoors, wintertime indoor air quality is more important than ever. We’d like to take a few minutes of your time to explain how colder weather and poor indoor air quality are co-related. Most of us don’t even think about it, because out of sight, out of mind—but your indoor air quality could probably be improved. Breathing healthy air inside our homes is as important as staying warm. Allergens, pollens, dust mites, pet dander and other pollutants may be stifling the air in your home. This article will address those concerns and help you consider some things you can do to improve your air quality this winter.
Opening doors and windows in the winter doesn’t seem like a viable option for letting in a little fresh air. That is actually part of the problem. When doors and windows in your home remain closed, there is no way for pollutants and other contaminants to escape. This is the main reason why winter indoor air quality suffers. All those trapped particles in your home include really scary stuff like mold spores and possibly even carbon monoxide. Fumes from spaces heaters, fireplaces, dryers, gas furnaces, and even your hot water heater can produce this deadly vapor. Other allergen and pollutants that can damage your indoor air quality include chemicals such as common cleaning products, cooking fumes and smoke. These contaminants not only tarnish the air we breathe, but they also thrive in higher humidity. Bacteria and other allergens are perfectly at home in a damp climate, hiding in places such as fan blades, furniture surfaces, and other places where particles from the air settle in your home. This can affect your family’s health.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
One of the most important responsibilities as a homeowner is making sure your heating and air conditioning units are inspected by a certified technician twice per year. You can reach out to the professionals here at Hometown Comfort and find out more about our maintenance program. One of our service professionals will check for issues with your heating unit and your air conditioning unit. A thorough inspection can pinpoint any leaks or performance issues that may exist. We can also clean the system very well, both inside the duct work and the outside unit’s coils and components. By testing the heat exchanger and ventilation system, your air quality can be improved upon drastically! Here are some other tasks that you may be able to perform on a regular basis to help improve your home’s indoor air quality:
- Make sure you’re changing your air filter at least every 3 months. We recommend a MERV rating of 9-12 in order to trap the smallest particles including pet dander, mold spores and dust must droppings.
- Vacuum and clean vents and registers on a regular basis. Any dust and particles you can clean from your vents and returns helps improve your indoor air quality.
- Clean the blades of ceiling fans. A regular chore around the house should in include wiping or vacuuming the dust that naturally collects on fan blades.
Having Hometown Comfort perform a full assessment of your home’s duct work is recommended every couple of years. Unseen damage could exist such as rips, detachments, and animal-attributed damage. Sometimes animals and rodents make themselves at home in ductwork. They leave behind toxic droppings and other waste. Nobody wants this blowing into the air they’re breathing. We also have products that can seal your ductwork to ensure no air loss or leaks are occurring in your duct work.
Other recommendations that will improve your indoor air quality include reducing humidity levels in your home. A home with higher moisture level is susceptible to bacterial growth. To help eliminate bacterial growth, we highly recommend a dehumidifier. In tandem with your HVAC system, a dehumidifier helps control humidity levels in your home.
Finally, cleansing the air in your home can also be assisted with a great air purifier. Quality air purifiers will trap fine particles that circulate inside your home. Keeping these particles at bay will greatly improve the indoor air quality. Another natural way to help control your air quality and humidity levels is with live house plants. House plants will also help re-oxygenate the air in your home
Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you. Just give the team here at Hometown Comfort a call today or fill out the form on this page to get in touch with us! We look forward to serving you.