Many people associate unhealthy air with the spring and summer months when airborne allergens like pollen run amok. But often times, winter is actually the time of year that the air in St. Louis area homes suffers the most. Today we’re going to talk about why indoor air gets contaminated during winter and how to clean the air in your home this season!
Why does indoor air get contaminated during winter?
Winter is the time of year that we spend the most time indoors. It’s also the time of year that we keep our windows and doors tightly shut and do everything we can to prevent cold winter air from getting into our homes. When you combine the lack of ventilation with the amount of time we spend burrowed away in our homes during winter, you have a recipe for some seriously unhealthy air!
As with any other time of the year, airborne contaminants build up in our homes during winter from things like dust, seasonal allergens and the use of chemical-based products (hair sprays, air fresheners, cleaning products, paint, etc.). In addition, illnesses like the flu are much more common during the winter months and they can spread easily if you don’t take steps to clean the air in your home.
How to clean the air in your home this winter
- Control contaminants at the source. One way to make your home’s air healthier is to stop airborne contaminants at their source. Try to use non-toxic products as much as you can and consider holding off on projects like painting a room until the warmer months when you can open the windows to ventilate your air.
- Run a whole house humidifier. Low humidity makes it difficult to recover from illnesses like the flu, and in many cases it makes your symptoms worse. You can alleviate these problems by installing and running a whole house humidifier in your home.
- Install a more efficient air filtration system. The standard throwaway filters that are used in many homes are designed to protect your furnace and air conditioner, but they don’t do much to protect your health. An air filter with a higher MERV rating will help improve your home’s air to a certain degree, whereas a whole house air cleaner or air purifier (or a combination of both) will eliminate more than 98% of the contaminants in your home’s air.
If you have any questions about how to clean the air in your home this winter, or if you’d like a residential heating system serviced or installed, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like O’Fallon, St. Charles and St. Paul.
How Does Your Air Filter Affect Furnace Efficiency? » « What Makes a High Efficiency Gas Furnace so Efficient?