When you think about poor air quality you may picture summertime issues like pollen and ragweed, city smog, and seasonally high humidity levels. You may assume that as temperatures decrease, so does your need for an air purifier.
However, while icy air can feel crisp and clean when you walk out of your home, your indoor air quality during the winter months is likely at it the worst level you’ll experience through the entire year.
In this blog, we list five reasons to continue using your existing air purifier year round or to add an air purifier to your HVAC System this winter.
- Decreased Ventilation
The first step most homeowners take to winterize their houses is closing up doors and windows. You may even add extra insulation like weather strips to reduce the amount of airflow coming into and going out of your house.
While winterizing is an essential part of keeping your house energy efficient when it’s cold outside, these efforts also dramatically decrease the natural ventilation through your house. When more air flows through your home, foreign particles move with it.
During the winter when ventilation decreases, particles are more likely to settle inside your ducts, on your furniture, and in your carpeting. This settling keeps contaminants in your home for longer, increasing the chance of negative reactions to them.
Additionally, your home’s air is more likely to contain mold spores during the winter due to the high indoor heat temperatures and high ambient moisture levels. Without ventilation or an air purifier, these particles could cause a range of negative side effects for your family.
- Higher Exposure to Diseases
As winter rolls around, you know that you can expect certain diseases to go through virtually every member of your family before the season ends.
One of the reasons why you may be more likely to get sick in the winter is that when you pick up germs while outside and then return home, the settling discussed in the previous section keeps the germs in play for longer periods of time.
Certain bacteria and viruses can live on any surface and, if not filtered out by an air purifier, could cause disease immediately or long after the contaminants were introduced into your home.
An air purifier, especially one that ties into your HVAC system as a whole, can remove and eliminate potentially harmful particles before you or your family members get sick. Running an air purifier is particularly important if your household includes anyone who is immunocompromised, such as an infant or individual with chronic illness.
- Increased Pet-Related Contaminants
During the summer, many household pets, especially dogs, spend the majority of the day outdoors. During the winter weather, however, your pets may only go outside to travel to and from the car, to exercise, or to answer nature’s call.
While you may loving having a warm feline or canine companion to snuggle with, this increased pet presence in your home also raises the level of pet-related contaminants in your air. For example, you will likely notice more fur sticking to your upholstery and more dander tickling your nose.
You can reduce the amount of fur and dander that become airborne by regularly cleaning high-traffic areas. However, to counteract the effect that pet-related contaminants can have on your home’s air quality, you will need the help of a high-quality air purifier.
- Introduction of Heat Source Allergens
Climate control is an essential part of weathering the winter. However, many of the heating methods used by homeowners come with their own potential irritants and allergens. For example, gas fireplaces and space heaters may emit toxins, while wood-burning stoves spread ash through the air.
Even your conventional furnace can contribute to lower winter air quality since the system recycles the same contaminated air repeatedly unless you have an air purifier to remove the particles as your heating system works.
- Longer Periods Spent Indoors
Wintertime often means spending more hours inside, often in the company of many more people than you would usually have in your home. While hosting friends and family members can stave off the winter chill, these activities will also decrease your indoor air quality at home.
Guests can potentially introduce new contaminants that will settle and stay in your air over time. Additionally, breathing and heating processes with lower ventilation (as we discussed in section one) can turn your air stale and may even actively pollute it.
If anyone if your home experiences allergies, frequent respiratory illness, or sensitivity to airborne contaminants, an air purifier is an essential component of your HVAC system, especially during the winter time.
Whether indoor air quality has already impacted your health or you simply want to protect your family’s health throughout every upcoming season, consider adding an air purifier for the reasons listed above. For comprehensive HVAC services from experienced technicians, including air purifier installation and maintenance, trust the team at Smedley & Associates.