Did you know that air quality is often worse during the winter? Because cold air is denser and sinks more than warm air, it can act as a cap or blanket that traps pollutants underneath. In addition, colder weather generally means that individuals spend more time indoors, breathing re-circulated air.
There are many factors that can affect the quality of indoor air, such as ventilation and both indoor and outdoor pollutants. These pollutants can include chemical fumes, combustion byproducts, pet dander, and even construction materials. Buildings containing a fireplace or wood burning stove are more likely to experience particulate matter in the air, even with a ventilation system in place.
In addition, certain bacteria and viruses can spread through the air—especially in small, indoor spaces. During the cold months, immune systems are negatively affected by the lack of Vitamin D and other factors, and this can cause infection to spread more readily.
To combat these issues, here are three ways to improve indoor quality during the winter months.
- Increase ventilation. Testing HVAC components can ensure air is being filtered properly and is flowing appropriately. If enough fresh air isn’t being circulated into a room or building, pollutants can linger and lead to odor; stuffy air; irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; and even respiratory conditions.
- Use an air purifier. High-efficiency portable air purifiers can be temporarily placed in the central areas of a building and help filter air during times of increased indoor activity. Note that some air purifiers are built to capture small pathogens like bacteria and viruses, while others only filter larger particulate matter.
- Maintain HVAC and filters. It is important to replace air filters and maintain HVAC systems, especially during the winter months. Proper ventilation and air exchange through a building’s HVAC system is one of the best ways to maintain healthy indoor air quality.
Life Balance Technologies helps hospitals and other companies easily analyze air quality conditions and effectively manage their HVAC systems. By streamlining the process for compliance, auditing, and reporting, we help reduce costs and save lives.