Winter Brings Air Quality Challenges

Wintertime makes us want to lock the doors and hibernate like bears, especially on those extra cold Kansas City days. Unfortunately, lots of time staying cozy indoors could also mean breathing low quality air.

Sore, itchy eyes, a burning sensation in the nose and throat, headaches and even fatigue can be attributed to indoor air pollutants. For some, air pollutants create or worsen allergies, respiratory illnesses, heart disease, cancer and other serious long-term conditions. In a worse case scenario, carbon monoxide (an air pollutant) can cause death.

Old Fashioned Fresh Air

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to improve your indoor air quality. The easiest of which is to open a window. Sounds crazy in the middle of winter, right? After all those years of telling our kids to “shut that door,” it turns out they were doing us a favor. It’s best to let in some fresh air in short, fast increments to keep from letting all the heat out.

Elbow Grease

You know that dust piling up on your furniture? Well here’s a good reason to stop ignoring it. Dust is an indoor air pollutant. Kids, dogs, gusts of wind, and even you stir up this dust and breath it in … yikes. Regular dusting sessions can help keep your air quality higher.

Big Fat Filters

If you’d do just about anything to get out of dusting, then consider installing a 4-5 inch air filter (rather than the standard 1 inch filter). These enormously wide filters do an impressive job of catching dust, and they’ll help your system run more efficiently. A bigger filter will require a quick modification to your unit but your lungs will thank you.

Fancy Gizmos

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) and Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV) make sense for some homeowners and businesses. What do they do? They reduce indoor pollutants like cleaning chemicals, gas emitted from carpets, interior paint and spray foam sealant fumes, plus a lot of other sources. They bring in fresh outside air and have a built in filter or work through a regular furnace. They’re like having the windows open, but air goes through a filter so you don’t have to worry about dust and pollen.

Poor indoor air quality can put people at risk for health problems. Indoor air pollutants range from chemicals and gases to living organisms such as mold and pests (yeah, gross). Luckily, you can improve your indoor air quality several ways from something as easy as opening a window to installing state-of-the-art HRV or ERV systems.

Still have questions? Contact the professionals at United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to understand how we can help you breathe a littler easier. We’re more than just plumbers and HVAC technicians – we’re like healthcare professionals for your home!