Embracing ventilation and monitoring humidity: here’s how to maintain excellent air quality in your home during the winter months.
When the weather outside is freezing, it’s time to curl up on the couch, snuggled up with a cup of hot cocoa or a good book under a fluffy blanket, and enter winter hibernation mode. But while you light up your scented candle and get the fireplace blazing, it’s important to remember that more time indoors means more exposure to pollutants lurking in the air around you.
The EPA estimates that levels of airborne pollutants are found at levels 2 to 5 times higher inside than outdoors. Indoor air quality during winter is a critical factor for keeping you and your loved ones healthy, especially considering how the cold, flu, and COVID-19 viruses spread more easily indoors.
5 tips on how to maintain excellent air quality in winters
1. Embrace ventilation
Wondering how to get fresh air into the house in winter? The answer is simple. As tempting as it is to make sure that you’re protected from a cold draft, it’s critical to crack open a window or door regularly.
With windows and doors shut tight in order to keep the cold out and warm air in, airborne pollutants have nowhere to go. Instead of naturally flowing out of the office, classroom, restaurant, or other indoor spaces through an opening to the outside, they’re stuck recirculating, trapped inside.
Add to the mix burning wood in the fireplace, scented candles, and people coughing or sneezing, and it’s easy for indoor air to become a veritable petri dish full of VOCs and viruses in the wintertime. Make sure to give all those contaminants a way to exit. Ventilation is key to improving indoor air quality, especially in the winter months.
2. Watch out for humidity
Dry winter air often results in chapped lists, sore throats, and general discomfort. Many people use humidifiers during the colder months to add moisture to the air and get relief from the downsides of dry air. But higher humidity can worsen your indoor air quality during winter.
Bacteria, viruses, molds, and other biological contaminants thrive in moist spaces, including inside your humidifier. And with your doors and windows tightly shut to keep out the cold, leading to condensation and wetter air inside the home, you may be unintentionally creating an environment that certain airborne pollutants absolutely love.
If you do run your humidifier, make sure to use it sparingly. When showering, cooking, or performing other activities that create steam, leave doors and windows open if possible.
3.Monitor your air quality
In order to stay abreast of what’s present in the air indoors, and to determine if you need to take additional measures to ensure that your air is safe to breathe, there are tools you can leverage to check your indoor air quality. Measuring indoor air quality can be done in two ways, either by using a DIY device or hiring a professional.
You can buy an indoor air quality monitor (IAQ). It shows levels of common pollutants including carbon monoxide, lead paint, and molds. While it’s a useful tool for a big picture overview about what’s in the air inside your home, there are a number of contaminants which it doesn’t detect.
For a detailed picture of all potential airborne contaminants, you should reach out to a professional air quality tester. Using advanced equipment, they can give you a precise report about what exactly is present in your indoor air.
4.Step up your cleaning routine
An easy step you can take to improve the quality of your indoor air in the colder months is to put more effort into your cleaning routine. By regularly vacuuming and wiping down surfaces, you’re taking tiny particles that would otherwise get swept up into the air out of commission.
If you use your fireplace, ensure that you clean it often. Got furry friends at home or in the office? Dog and cat dander can seriously reduce your indoor air quality, so make sure that you or your team take pets to the groomer periodically.
Spending more time indoors with windows and doors tightly shut means that you’re more susceptible than ever to being negatively affected by airborne allergens. Vacuuming and dusting can make a difference towards improving your winter indoor air quality.
5.Use an air purifier
Indoor air purification technology can help improve the air quality in a room, reducing the risk of airborne pollutants and keeping you and your loved ones safe. But not all air purifiers are created equal. Some require frequent, hands-on maintenance. Others, especially passive, filter-based systems, only remove large particles from the air, while having no effect on nasty airborne pathogens like those that cause COVID-19 and the flu.
Tadiran’s hydrogen peroxide-based TADIRAN AIROW leverages a unique active cleansing approach to purifying the air. It uses existing water molecules in the air, transforming them into airborne contaminant-zapping hydrogen peroxide. In FDA-cleared lab tests, the system has been proven to eliminate viruses, bacteria, and molds at rates of 99.998%*.
The hassle-free, plug-and-play system easily fits into your existing HVAC system and doesn’t require any maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about unique hydrogen peroxide-based, pathogen-killing air purifiers to mitigate the risks of contaminated air, get in touch with us here at Tadiran. We’d love to guide you in your search for the best air purifier to use during winter.