Having to keep a home tightly closed because of cold temperatures often harms winter indoor air quality, but you’re not defenseless against them. Besides avoiding them altogether, routine maintenance will help eliminate them from your home’s air.
Watch out for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
These gases are found in common household products like cleaning supplies, candles, air fresheners, soaps, cosmetics, new paint, flooring and furniture. If your home has an attached garage, VOCs from your vehicles, glues, paints, finishes and yard chemicals may also work their ways inside.
Excessively dry air.
When air loses too much humidity, air quality suffers because the dry air fosters the spread of bacteria and viruses. It also harms respiratory tissues and dries out your skin, along with all the wood in your home.
Gases from combustion products.
If you use any gas appliances or wood-burning products, you may have gases in your home like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde. Wood smoke contains CO and particulate matter (PM) that is a serious lung irritant.
Ways to Keep the Air Clean
- Avoiding products that emit VOCs is a certain way to improve winter indoor air quality, but if that’s not possible, look for similar products that are VOC-free.
- Increase the humidity by using portable humidifier or simmering water on the stove. If your home is large, consider a whole-house humidifier that attaches to your furnace. It completely automates humidity management and uses less energy than using individual humidifiers.
- Have your gas furnace or boiler serviced annually. In this climate, heating systems get a lot of use and need professional cleaning and adjusting at least once a year. The HVAC technician will inspect the chimney or flu and all the safety switches. Routine service improves the energy efficiency, dependability and durability of your heating system.
- Schedule wood fireplace cleaning. A chimney sweep will thoroughly clean the firebox and the chimney so that it burns cleaner.
If you’re concerned about the health effects of winter indoor air quality, contact the pros at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, providing HVAC services for Monmouth County homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).