Most homeowners spend a considerable amount of money heating their homes during the cold winter months. Maintaining a comfortable, cozy indoor temperature can be difficult when the temperature outside begins to plummet. It becomes important, for our warmth as well as our wallets, to hold heat inside our home while keeping the cold air out.
Cold outdoor temperatures prompt homeowners to tightly seal cracks and gaps that allow cold drafts to get inside. While this helps save money on heating bills and keeps the family warm, it also seals off an essential flow of fresh air. Because we seal up our homes tightly to fend of Old Man Winter, our indoor air quality suffers.
Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can have a negative effect on your health and well-being. Even brief exposure can lead to dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Allergies and asthma can also become worse when the indoor air quality is poor.
Long-term effects of indoor air pollution can include depression, anxiety, respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air quality can be up to 10 times more polluted than the air outside. This is especially true during the winter season when fresh air entering the home means cold air is getting in.
Indoor pollutants come from many varied sources. Understanding where pollutants come from is the first step in improving the indoor air quality of your home. Here is a list of common sources of indoor air pollution:
Furniture and building materials. Insulation, carpeting, and pressed wood used in cabinetry and furniture can emit dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Exposure to some VOCs has been linked to certain types of cancer. Furniture and carpeting can also harbor mold and dust mites, both of which contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Cleaning and personal care products. Air fresheners, hair spray, and many household cleaning products release dangerous pollutants into the air.
Craft and home improvement projects. Paint, varnishes, and many adhesives release dangerous chemicals into the air we breathe. Most of these products should be used in well-ventilated areas. Adequate ventilation is hard to come by when your home is sealed up tight for the winter.
Pets. People tend to stay indoors more when it is cold outside, and so do their pets. Pet dander can aggravate allergies and asthma, especially in the wintertime.
Combustion sources. If you burn wood, oil, or kerosene in an indoor fireplace or stove, it can have a detrimental effect on the air quality in your home. Dryers, water heaters, and stoves can also contribute to indoor air pollution. Even you heating system, which relies on combustion, could have a negative effect on your health.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)recommends three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality: source control, ventilation improvements, and air cleaners or purifiers.
Source Control. By removing as many sources of indoor air pollution as possible, your air quality will improve drastically. When possible, purchase furnishings and building materials that do not contain VOCs. Treat and remove sources of mold and mildew. Choose non-toxic cleaning products and stay away from chemical air fresheners.
Ventilation Improvement. The easiest way to improve the quality of the air in your home is to open windows and doors. This action can improve indoor air quality almost immediately. When weather permits, allow fresh air to circulate by opening a few windows and doors. However, this isn’t a practical action step when the outdoor temperature is near freezing.
Air Cleaners and Purifiers. The final recommendation by the EPA is to use a product to clean and purify your indoor air. While there are many air purifiers that you can use, some more effective than others, few work to improve the air quality throughout your entire home.
One convenient and effective option is the Air Scrubber Plus. This is fully integrated into your home’s HVAC system and works 24/7 to purify the air in every room of the house. It not only removes chemicals, contaminants, mold, and other dangerous pollutants from the air, it also neutralizes unpleasant odors, eliminating the need for chemical air fresheners.
Air Scrubber Plus uses specialized germicidal UV light waves along with a proprietary catalytic process that creates enviroscrubbing molecules of oxygen and hydrogen, just like nature’s outdoor scrubbers. This technology helps eliminate indoor air quality risks by reducing air pollutants, like VOCs , cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, mold, and odor-causing bacteria.
Contact us for more information on how the Air Scrubber Plus can work to improve your home’s air quality and the health of your family.