How Winter Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality Issues

The impact of winter on indoor air quality in Alexandria, VA is no secret. Along with increased airborne bacteria and viruses, winter brings dry air, irritation and other seasonal indoor air quality issues that can affect how you feel—even carbon monoxide poisonings increase in colder months.

Poor indoor air quality can cause everything from dry, cracking skin to sore throat, respiratory problems, allergies and asthma. Here are some of the seasonal indoor air quality issues that winter brings, and the things you can do to combat them.

People stay inside more when it’s cold out

Some seasonal indoor air quality issues arise just because people stay inside more during the winter. Alexandria, VA is hardly the Arctic, but it’s still cold enough to keep people indoors during the winter. If you have poor indoor air quality, it’s still possible to go without symptoms if you’re never at home. If you’re stuck inside for several months over the winter, though, you are more likely to notice any issues you have, even if they’re not new.

Winter means less ventilation

When it gets cold outside, the first thing you probably do is close all your windows. People buy all kinds of products, from storm windows to door bumpers, to prevent warm indoor air from escaping their homes. That may keep heating costs lower and make homes more comfortable, but unfortunately, it also means less fresh air is making its way into the home and any indoor pollution is trapped inside. When indoor contaminants like bacteria, viruses, mold spores and dust mites collect in the home, they can multiply and compound any issues you have with allergies or respiratory problems.

Winter air is dry air

Winter is infamous for causing dry and itchy skin. Often, forced-air heating systems are blamed for cracked lips and hands, but they’re not the only culprit. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, meaning that winter months will inherently be dryer. Dry air can cause a lot of health effects, including more susceptibility to diseases like the flu. If you don’t want dry skin—or worse, respiratory issues caused by dry air—you should consider investing in a humidifier for your home.

Additional pollutants

While ordinary indoor pollutants like mold, pet dander, dust and chemicals released from household products are a concern no matter the season, winter brings additional sources of indoor pollution. People often use supplemental heating to keep their homes warm and comfortable during the winter season. Fireplaces may be cozy and festive, but they also produce carbon monoxide. If you do use a fireplace or wood stove, be sure you keep up with regular maintenance and have your heating source checked by a professional every season to make sure it’s functioning properly and not releasing carbon monoxide into your living space.

Get air filtration help

If you have seasonal indoor air quality issues in Alexandria, VA, you might want to consider getting an air filtration system in addition to your general furnace filter. A Action Home Services specializes in HVAC and air filtration systems that will improve your indoor air quality and relieve your winter allergies, dry skin or scratchy throat. Contact the experts today!

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