With the starting of every season, one of the stressful situations is changing our daily lifestyle from time to time. The Winter season is not entirely fun for all, and even we have a fantastic time with Christmas at the end of the year.
Don’t you also have noticed a significant increment in air quality issues, mainly in Winter other than another time period of the year? (Not exact as spring).
The reason might be the sudden change of climate change in surrounded atmosphere after the autumn. From today’s know your facts, let’s talk about what we can do to keep our indoor air quality clean and safe this Winter. Read and enjoy.
Why Does Winter Cause Air Quality Problems?
There are several reasons behind the increased lousy quality in the winter season compared to others.
1. Increment of the pollutants
With the cold nature of the atmosphere, people are often waiting for heated backgrounds almost everywhere. Every closed area is set up with several heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, or wood-burning stoves, which have a higher level of energy consumption than other electrical utilities.
This condition leads to a higher level of energy generation, which leads to air pollution indirectly.
When coal is used to heat indoor areas, insufficient ventilation eventually develops an insecure higher level of air pollutants in our surroundings.
Also, another often thing we can observe is heated vehicles in the Winter. This leads the car to higher consumption of fuel gas instead of electricity. This eventually uplifts air pollutants in nature in the Winter.
2. Temperature Difference
With the temperature difference caused by the seasonal change, pollutants can be easily trapped in the lower atmosphere, which is also known as “temperature inversion.“
This is mainly caused by the warmer upper layer above the warmer (comparable) atmosphere in the Winter. It can act as a trap that keeps the lower layer of air pollutants without spreading them furthermore.
But it creates several health effects when it counts for a more extended period.
Air pollutants like Carbon dioxides and Nitrogen can easily trap due to this phenomenon which creates smog, smoke, and other kinds of health impacts throughout the season.
This temperature inversion situation cannot be changed until quick weather changes like winds, rains, and snow come through that specific zone of the atmosphere.
3. Stuck Indoors
The Winter season is a minor activity of humans that can be observed outdoor due to shaking cold weather. Due to that reason, we are trying the spend much time indoors with warm and comfy nature.
But the fact is that indoors are the places where many air pollutants can be easily stuck due to its limited area.
Mostly if you do have not a clear plan for maintaining the indoor atmosphere, Winter might be a nightmare.
Due to the indoor warm nature of than outdoor, there might be a spread of fungus-like situations that can be formed easily.
One of the annoying things in the Winter is varying the humidity indoor. If you do not maintain indoor humidity properly, it can directly lead to mold growth inside and dust mites. These molds cause serious health issues, most at the atmospheric level.
Apart from these, there are multiple reasons behind higher levels of air pollutions that can be identified.
What are some common issues caused in Winter?
With the beginning of the Winter, the air pollutant level can be observed rapidly, mostly indoor wise. Even so, it cannot be detected for an average person because of unbearable winter conditions.
Some air pollutants like CO and CO2 create obvious reasons behind heat increments in Winter, staying indoors as human friendly. But those are directly harmful to the human respiratory system, which causes several illnesses.
Apart from CO, CO2, many air pollutant factors can easily be created with our daily tasks in the Winter.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Pet Dander
- Cleaning Products
- Personal Care Products
- Tobacco Smoke
- Mildew, etc.
Reason for the above pollutants, there are several health issues in the winter season, as mentioned above.
Most of them are just symptoms related to wet nature at the end of the year. But without our attention, most of them are developed due to the bad atmospheric condition, which can be controlled with proper guidance. Some of them are;
- Flu-like symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Worsened asthma, allergies, or chronic illnesses
What can we do to manage Indoor Quality in Winter?
You can get ready to set up your indoor air quality at the proper level this Winter following several tips.
Some of them are pretty familiar with our daily process, and including others into your schedule is the best way of staying proper quality level indoor.
1. Replace your air filters
Replacing air filters is one thing that comes to our mind after it feels very uncomfortable with the existing situation.
Most filters are recommended for at least three months, and they can filter multiple air pollutant pathogens for a considerable level. The filters in the HVAC system check filters in air purifiers and air conditioners before the winter season.
Also, with high air pollutant season, they can be easily get clogged with no time. With the winter season arrivals, replacing them with new ones prevents you from following inconveniences apart from having clean air.
Stay out from higher energy bills
If filters are clogged with impurities, an extra energy level is required to filter the air through that barrier. Which eventually increases your electricity conception.
Also, extra loading work on filtering machinery systems will decrease the lifetime of any filtering system.
As mentioned above, a clogged filtration system eventually counts as a system failure. Imagine such a breakdown in between mid of blizzard or heavy winter season.
Prevention is a much secure way of staying out of trouble, mainly in such a critical condition.
When there is a not-replaced filter in the system, even the filtration can get add the filter stuck germs and other kinds of impurities every day.
Some kinds of contaminants are capable of growing even in the filter following the existing environments. Therefore, keeping such an infected filter leads to making new diseases instead of filtering them.
Consequently, we should make sure to replace them in regular time intervals.
2. Test your home for Radon
According to EPA reports, Radon gas should have an average concentration outdoor atmosphere, 7.4 Bq/m3. But did you know naturally developed Radon gas quickly can come into your rooms through floor cracks, construction joints, gaps foundation around pipes?
So when you are dwelling near to foundation, things are getting much hazardous with Radon. That is why there is a higher risk inside basements due to lack of ventilation.
EPA recommends lessor concentration level than 148 Bq/m3 inside your rooms.
The problem is, Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that no one knows until you get exact symptoms of illness. The only way to figure out the situation is the usage of the Air Quality Monitor in the selected area.
If you feel uncomfortable with the existing ventilation system, do a radon test that is not very costly.
What can we do against Radon?
- Easy repair
- Hire a qualified radon-reduction (mitigation) contractor
- Try to Use a Radon Vent Pipe
Taking proper guidance is the best option you can go here in Winter before everything goes much severe.
3. Check Your Furnace
As we have mentioned before, the potential of creating air contaminants by the furnace in the Winter is unavoidable. With the heat, there are plenty of harmful air pollutants adding into your indoor atmosphere eventually.
Therefore, worrying about a cleaned furnace is something not you should do without a rain check before the winter season. Apart from that we can manage to plenty of things to before “switch ON” our furnace.
- Change the filter
- Clean burners
- Check smells and noises
- Test safety monitors
- Clean and clear chimney and vents
- Uncover the heating vents
- Cover the Air conditioner condenser
- Lubricate and clean the blower motors
- Inspect CO/CO2 monitors
A well-maintained furnace is always the perfect way of staying out of many troubles in the Winter and throughout the year.
4. Install an Air Purifier
Maintaining an air purifier is one of the best options you can try without worrying about another kind of impact by the air pollutants.
As mentioned before, we need to replace the filters same as the HVAC systems.
The main advantage of air purifiers over standard air filtration systems is;
- They can be used in a limited area with higher efficiency
- Air purifiers come in several categories depending on your requirement
- Air purifiers are easily maintained and repaired other than standard filtration systems
- They can be easily installed in a car as a portable device
Apart from that, an air purifier can be used in any season, even in winter or summer; healthy breath is the best way to keep you safe from several sicknesses.
5. Open your windows every day
This might be a bit of a funny thing to hear in the winter season. But the fact is when you are staying a much more extended time period in a limited area of the atmosphere, it increases the potential of weak your respiratory system than an average person.
Even though it’s a wintertime period, keep open the windows for a shorter period of time, refresh your indoor atmosphere. Also, do not block the paths of the ventilation system inside your home, assuming winter breeze is coming through those. Maintaining them is the best way to stay safe.
But the loss of a bit of energy for extra heating is unavoidable. On that point, health comes first. When it counts for; a more extended period, it might seem like saving your money.
6. Clean your carpets, floors, and dusty areas
Keeping indoor clean is not a specific thing for the Winter. But things are getting messy in Winter with dirty indoor.
Carpets and floors are places where high levels of dust mites, wet moisture, and other inconvenient backgrounds can easily be formed in Winter. There are many things we can manage to do here;
1. Do not use outdoor shoes and slippers indoors
Winter seasons are pretty messy with the use of outdoor boots and shoes inside with wet surroundings. It can dirt or mess up carpets and floors easily.
Also, removing them using chemicals might damage the carpets, preventing their use indoors is the best way to get rid of that.
Maintaining a separate shoe-off location is the best way in such sort of a point.
2. Try to vacuum often
Try a good vacuum cleaner is the best option to stay of the number of pathogens that generally spread through the carpets and stuff.
But in the Winter, vacuum them in regular schedules often. Because they are secret locations, many pollutants can easily hide.
3. Clean the dirty marks as soon as possible
Unlike other seasons Winter does not support removing dirt from the existing atmosphere. Most of the time, it can be converted into permanent damage.
The cleaning process should be quickly cleaned or replaceable in no time without injury to others.
4. Have a deep clean the carpets
In the cleaning process, cleaning them in “strong” gear is the best option you can try. Indeed, you will. But cleaning in regular intervals is also should is required.
Apart from these, there are several things you can try in homes to keep the indoor air quality at a proper level in Winter.
- Decorate with house with indoor plants
- Use a humidifier
- Air duct cleaning
- Check Carbon monoxide detectors and Maintain them
- Safely store toxic chemicals
- clean air ducts regularly
Read More – KNOW YOUR FACTS