Understanding the Indoor Air Quality Concerns in Winter

January 13, 2021
smarthouse truck fleet outside home in winter

Among the many changes and surprises 2020 brought us, staying indoors more often is one change many homeowners are continuing through the winter and into 2021.  Staying inside means you’re also stuck with all of the indoor contaminants circulating in the air you breathe. 

At SmartHouse, we want to ensure our friends, family, and neighbors have the information they need to recognize the symptoms of poor IAQ (indoor air quality), and how to improve their home’s indoor air quality this winter.  Here’s what you should know:

Why Is IAQ Worse in the Winter?

What is it that makes IAQ even more important once Missouri’s temperatures start to drop? The primary reason is we spend more time indoors when it’s cold out, making us more susceptible to the harmful effects of contaminated indoor air. 

The EPA has found indoor air is between two and five times more contaminated than the air you breathe outside, meaning the more time you spend inside, the higher your exposure to contaminants like:

  • Pet dander
  • Volatile organic compounds (from chemicals and construction materials)
  • Dust
  • Bacteria & viruses
  • Pollen & other allergens
  • Smoke

The Symptoms of Poor IAQ

How can you know if your home has poor indoor air quality?  Are you or your family members:

  • Feeling irritation of the eyes, nose or throat?
  • Experiencing an increase in respiratory issues?
  • Suffering from frequent headaches?
  • Feeling dizzy or fatigued?

Contaminated air affects humans much like seasonal allergies and can irritate pre-existing respiratory sensitivities; this can be particularly alarming for those with chronic illnesses.  So, what can be done to improve your indoor air quality?

How To Improve IAQ

SmartHouse Heating & Cooling helps homeowners just like you feel comfortable in their homes and feel good about their energy costs—but we don’t stop there!  We offer many solutions to improve the overall performance of your home, which in turn improves your indoor air quality.  Here are some of the services we provide that can improve your IAQ. 

Air Sealing 

Air sealing is the process of locating and filling the holes and gaps in your home that allow outside, untreated air to freely infiltrate your home, bringing with it more outside contaminants. Air sealing is the first line of defense against poor IAQ and is often combined with insulation upgrades to stabilize indoor temperatures and reduce drafts that can exacerbate outside air infiltration.

Energy Recovery Ventilators

A properly sealed home will prevent most outside air from getting in, but your home still needs a steady supply of fresh, clean air.  Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) replace the stale air in your home with fresh, conditioned air, while reducing energy loss in the process. 

Air Filtration

Once your home is properly air sealed and ventilated, the next step may be adding upgraded filtration. Depending on your heating and cooling system and the existing air filters, we may recommend upgrading your filter, in order to remove the maximum amount of dust, viruses, bacteria, allergens and more, without bogging down the efficiency of your home comfort systems.

Air Purification

Air purification can provide the extra help needed to keep your home as contaminant free as possible. UV Germicidal Lamps and Air Scrubbers are installed in your HVAC system to disrupt the DNA and RNA of incoming viruses and bacteria. These products also create oxidized clusters that are sent into your living space to combat bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi on surfaces and in the air.

Call SmartHouse—Your Residential Indoor Air Quality Pros

If you are a homeowner looking for help identifying the signs of poor indoor air quality or are looking to improve the quality of the air in your home, make the smart call to the IAQ pros at SmartHouse. Our team of experts will walk you through our process and develop a plan to safely and accurately resolve your IAQ problems, so you can get back to breathing easy again!

Worried about the quality of air in your home? Make the smart call to SmartHouse!