You may have noticed that the air quality in your home suddenly deteriorates when its winter season. There is a good reason for this, though. Since most homeowners want their homes to be energy efficient, they invest in sealing off any openings that could be a source for drafts. They also tend to close off any window openings and even use heavy curtains to ensure no air escapes or comes in.
Unfortunately, this may be positive for energy efficiency but interfere with air quality. Sealing off everything means no fresh air is allowed to get into the house hence the issues with air quality. The good news is that there are a few things that one could do to improve the air quality without compromising comfort and energy efficiency.
Causes of Household Pollution in Winter
Pollutants often cause the poor quality of air in most homes in winter. Homeowners need to identify potential contaminants to address the problem head-on. Common pollutants during this season include but are not limited to the following:
Heat or Combustion Sources
Most people tend to light fires to help increase the heat that keeps them warm. Homeowners may have appliances that need to be burned to produce heat. Such devices use wood fuel, gas, and sometimes kerosene or oil. All these are sources of pollution that affect the air quality in your space. These appliances need to be appropriately maintained to support safe use and minimize the production of harmful gases.
Sometimes the pollution is caused by the furnishings in your house. The materials used to build your home or aesthetics could be why your air quality is affected. These could be anything ranging from mats, cabinetry, carpets, and insulation. It is best to go for materials with the safest ratings to minimize the chances of pollution. However, this is not something that you can altogether avoid.
Personal Care and Household Cleaning Products
In a bid to keep your home safe, you may be causing more damage than good. Most of the cleaning products used today contain many harsh chemicals that could be hazardous. However, these harmful substances are not easy to see; hence most homeowners quickly assume their impact.
Your pet could significantly contribute to the deterioration of indoor air quality in winter. The fur and dander from the pet can find their way into your space, polluting it. Learn how to take care of these excesses properly.
Some of the pollutants you may be struggling with are actually from outside. Dust and pollen may find their way into your house from outside, causing pollution. Try your best to clean using detergents and products that have no chemicals. You could use alternatives that still get the job done without harmful components.
Creativity works magic, in this case, with DIY cleaning solutions. For incase, you could use vinegar and lemon to clean and wipe surfaces instead of using chemical-filled products that compromise air quality in your space.
Poor Air Quality in Winter
Once you know what kind of pollutants you are dealing with, it is easy to fix that exact issue. However, for an overall approach to dealing with contaminants that may affect the quality of air in your house, consider the following tips.
It is important to dust and vacuum your spaces in winter. You may even have to do it more frequently if your pets have to stay indoors with you. This will help you get rid of dust and pet dander/fur. Vacuuming also helps minimize the chances of mold, mildew, dust mites, and pollen accumulating in your home.
If you have to burn fuel to keep the house warm or use a stove that functions by combustion, then it is advisable to invest in a good carbon monoxide testing kit. You need to pay attention to potential changes in carbon monoxide levels. You may have to vacate the house if the levels increase. The last thing you want is to jeopardize the safety of your family.
It is possible to improve air quality in your spaces even during winter. However, it would help if you did it right and safely. Avoid harsh products, and try to minimize pollutants too.