Most people associate allergies with the spring and summer months. While this is accurate the majority of the time, many people are left feeling allergy type symptoms even into the winter months. This in part is due to the air quality within our homes or businesses. According to the EPA, indoor air quality is up to 5X more polluted than outdoor air! In the winter months this number rises as air quality worsens. Having clean air to breath in our homes and businesses is important all year-round, especially for the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, or the 24 Americans who suffer with asthma. Poor indoor air quality affects even the healthiest of citizens, resulting in more employees taking sick leave in the winter months, which ultimately leads to production losses for any company. What causes poor indoor air quality and why does it worsen in the winter months? JMS Air Conditioning and Heating has the answers and solutions to this ongoing problem.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Winter Months?
Less air ventilation throughout the home or business– Here is sunny Los Angeles California, we are known for having desirable weather all year round. It does get chilly (at least by our standards) and most do turn on their furnaces to stay comfortable. In the summer months, we love opening our windows to let some fresh air and warmth in which gives our homes a good chance to air out and allow the air to clean itself. In the winter months people are much less likely to open their windows because they are trying to keep the cold out. We also increase our home’s insulation to keep cold drafts out and heat inside. By trying to keep our homes toasty warm, we are not airing out our homes, leading to increased indoor air pollution, trapping dust, bacteria, viruses and mold spores within the home with no chance of escaping.
Air pollution from heating sources– Heating sources are powered by oil, gas, kerosene, coal etc. When appliances are not regularly maintained, they can leak these toxins and pollutants into the home causing an increase in the pollution indoors, coupled with the fact that we air out our homes less in the winter, these pollutants have no way to escape to the outside and linger within our homes.
Household cleaning chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds)– When we use cleaning products, paint, wax, varnish, degreasers or various hobby products indoors without proper ventilation, they release organic compounds into the air which are harmful to your health and show up in short- or long-term symptoms.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
Often, symptoms of poor indoor air quality are mistaken for common colds or flu viruses. Symptoms include coughing, headaches and dizziness, sneezing, watery eyes, fatigue and upper respiratory congestion. If you seem to feel better after leaving the building, you likely are suffering the effects of poor IAQ. A few ways to improve the air quality inside your home or business is to change your air filters as soon as they get dirty, have your furnace regularly serviced each fall by a licensed HVAC company, get your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years and air out your home by opening windows as often as you can.
Central Air Conditioning & Furnace Tune Up, Indoor Air Quality Products & More in Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, Agoura Hills & Greater Los Angeles, California
JMS Air Conditioning and Heating has been serving our HVAC customers in the greater Los Angeles area since 1993. We preform installations, repairs, air duct cleaning, filter changes and much, much more. We offer affordable furnace tune up services year-round, give our office a call if you need help improving your indoor air quality!