Once cold weather hits, there’s nothing quite like coming to a warm, comforting home. But if you’re not careful, pollutants like mold, allergens, dust, and smoke can turn your cozy home into a breathing nightmare. Indoor air quality isn’t something you want to skip over this winter, so it’s important that you are always on top of your home’s air quality.
At Santa Fe Air, we believe that during the winter, air quality is just as important as an efficient heating system. Since 1987, we’ve proudly helped thousands of people in the Kansas City and Johnson County areas improve their indoor air quality. Continue reading to learn more about what you can do to improve your indoor air quality during the winter months.
Why is indoor air quality in Kansas City important?
Despite all our unique differences and needs, there’s one thing we all have in common: we need air to survive. And it’s not just any air we we want; our bodies crave clean, quality air to keep us thriving and healthy.
That fact doesn’t change when we’re indoors. We spend a vast majority of our time inside, especially during those ice-cold winter months. But according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can have two to five times the amount of pollutants than outdoor air.
Indoor air pollutants can do far more damage than you think. Short-term effects include eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, dizziness, and fatigue just to name a few. These are usually treatable, but it’s the long term effects you really should worry about. Years of poor indoor air quality management can lead to lung disease, heart disease, and cancer – all of which can be fatal.
1. Test your indoor air quality
You can’t go into improving your indoor air quality blindly; you need to understand the problem before you can fix the problem. There are different DIY testing kits that allow you to check for pollutants such as allergens, mold, and formaldehyde. You also want to look into testing for combustion pollutants (gases or particles that come from burning materials) and radon (the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers).
If you have questions about how to test indoor air quality in Kansas City, Santa Fe Air can give you expert advice.
2. Narrow down the source
Sometimes the easiest thing you can do to improve indoor air quality during the winter is simply locate the source of the pollutant. Plus, doing so can also save your major bucks. For instance, if you find that the cause of your pollutant issues is your gas stove, you can adjust the settings to decrease emission levels instead of buying expensive equipment you don’t really need.
A few sources of indoor pollutants to check for:
- Fuel-burning appliances
- Asbestos-filled insulation
- Tobacco products
- Newly installed flooring
- Household cleaning products
- Central heating and cooling devices
3. Increase air ventilation
Most heating and cooling systems don’t bring in fresh air from the outside, so ventilation is extremely important. But in the winter, opening a door or window may not be an option to increase air ventilation. If you don’t mind the Kansas City winter cold, then by all means go for it. But for the rest of us sane people trying to stay warm, there are other steps to take that won’t give you goosebumps 😉
Many homes come with bathroom and kitchen fans that exhaust outdoor air and can increase ventilation. Fans can also help remove contaminants where the fan is located. If you find yourself doing things that could create high levels of pollution, like painting or cooking, go ahead and flip those switches to get the air flowing.
4. Invest in a quality air purifier
Air purifiers are the perfect companion to your HVAC system since they’re able to catch tiny air particles. Air is moved into air purifiers through filters to target pollutants such as mold and dust. It’s a simple way to ensure that you can breathe easy at home.
Read about our recommended air purifier in our list of Gift Ideas for Tech Lovers!
Things to consider when buying an air purifier:
- Price. Some air purifiers will be quite affordable, while others are on the expensive side. (Hint: Also look at the price of filter replacements since they are required for maintenance.)
- Quality. Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it’s a steal. There’s no point in buying an abnormally cheap air purifier if it isn’t going to work.
- Size. If your house is small, don’t waste space by purchasing an unnecessarily large air filter.
5. Add humidity
Simply speaking, sometimes all you need to do to improve your air quality in the winter is to add humidity via a humidifier. Consistently breathing winter air without added moisture can cause dry throats and nasal passages, which especially affects children and elderly people.
Santa Fe Air is an expert on air quality in Kansas City
If you’re still having trouble controlling your indoor air quality in Kansas City or you simply want professional advice, our experts at Santa Fe Air are happy to help. We pride ourselves on offering the best HVAC and air quality services to residents in the Kansas City metro areas.
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