Maintaining Winter IAQ Can Be a Tough Task, But These Tips Will Help
Because most people keep their homes tightly closed in the winter, indoor air quality (IAQ) can be a problem, especially in newer homes, since there tends to be less air infiltration. With little fresh air coming in, harmful gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and combustion gases from gas appliances can build to unhealthy levels and ruin winter IAQ.
Keeping IAQ high prevents health problems caused by VOCs and high concentrations of other air pollutants. These tips will help preserve wintertime air quality:
Keep the air filter for the HVAC system clean. A clean filter improves system efficiency and traps a number of airborne particulates like dust, pet dander, pollen and, depending on the filter’s quality, dust mite waste and mold spores.
Consider having ductwork professionally cleaned, especially if there are signs that it’s dirty. Running the HVAC system with a dirty air filter will allow particulates to collect inside the ducts, and this can have an adverse effect on IAQ, particularly when your furnace runs frequently.
Energy-efficient mechanical devices are available that pull out stale indoor air and replace it with fresh air. These devices use technology that transfers the thermal energy, leaving the exhausting air and put into the incoming air. Known as heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), they dilute the concentrations of VOCs. VOCs come from many common household products found in fabrics, furniture, flooring, paint, cleaning products, air fresheners, and some cosmetics. Selecting products labeled for low VOC emissions also helps IAQ.
Having your heating system professionally inspected and serviced during the heating season will improve winter IAQ. The HVAC technician goes through all the components, adjusting and cleaning them to promote clean and efficient burning.
If you use a gas dryer or water heater, it’s a good idea to check the vents to make sure they’re clear and not obstructed. Anything that burns fuel creates carbon monoxide to some degree, and adequate venting is essential for your safety.
To learn more about winter IAQ and how to improve it, contact Air Experts. Our home comfort experts provide exceptional HVAC and air quality services to homeowners in the greater Raleigh area.
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