How to Improve Air Quality this Winter

March 1, 2012

It’s already March… going stir-crazy in your house yet? (actually it’s been pretty warm, so maybe not!) One of the problems with being cooped up in the house all day is the constant exposure to dry indoor air, which can be worse than outdoor air no matter how clean you keep your home. Poor indoor air quality is a problem for many people in our area, and it gets exponentially worse in the winter when you’re stuck inside all day and can’t open the windows for fresh air. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to maintain good indoor air quality in your home!

Eliminate, Isolate and Ventilate

Improving indoor air quality in the winter comes down to three things: eliminate, isolate and ventilate.

How to Improve Air Quality – Eliminate

You’d be amazed at how many dangerous chemicals you have in your home that find their way into your indoor air – everything from the cleaning products in the kitchen to the wood treatments in your furniture. And while chemical levels are rarely high enough to cause any real harm, they can aggravate allergy symptoms and may contribute to respiratory problems.

The “eliminate” method of improving indoor air quality means just that – eliminating as many excess chemical sources as you can and swapping them out for healthier versions of the same product. This is easy enough, as many common household cleaners, paints, etc. come in low-VOC or no-VOC varieties. If you’re buying new furniture, try to find pieces that have not been treated with phthalates or other harmful chemicals. Finally, if you smoke, take it outside – smoke particles will linger a lot longer than that last cigarette!

How to Improve Air Quality – Isolate

Eliminating every harmful chemical from your home is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s downright impossible. In these cases, try to keep them locked up tight so they don’t leak into the air, preferably near a ventilation source (but not your HVAC ducts!). This means keeping cleaning chemicals securely under the sink, keeping things like fertilizer and paint near a window in the garage, etc.

How to Improve Air Quality – Ventilate

The best way to improve air quality in the winter is making sure your HVAC equipment and your home as a whole stay well ventilated. Keeping your HVAC system ventilated is especially important, since carbon monoxide has a tendency to leak out of poorly vented systems. As you probably know, carbon monoxide is a highly toxic gas, even in low amounts. A Cincinnati furnace inspection and a low level carbon monoxide detector will help keep you safe all winter long.

Finally, you can keep your home ventilated safely and efficiently with a whole house ventilation system! Whole house ventilation systems use highly efficient electric fans to circulate and exhaust air from your home 24/7. A well-balanced whole house ventilation system can substantially improve your indoor air quality without compromising your heating efficiency!

Indoor air quality is a problem in many homes in Cincinnati, Mainefield, Morrow, Lebanon or Mason, Ohio – and it’s much worse in the winter! If you want more tips on how to improve your indoor air quality during the winter, or if you need a furnace inspection in Cincinnati, call Rick’s Heating & Cooling today!