Why does it seem like your allergies and asthma always get worse in the winter? Your throat is sore, you’re coughing more, plus it’s cold and flu season. These problems are often exacerbated by your indoor air quality, which is worse in winter than at any other time of year. Read on to learn why — and what you can do to improve it.
Winter IAQ Factors
One of the quickest ways to improve your indoor air quality is to open your windows and let clean, fresh air in from outdoors, displacing the contaminated indoor air. Unfortunately, when the weather gets colder, windows typically stay closed. The house gets shut up and air leaks get sealed to keep the warm air in.
While that’s great for saving energy, it’s not as good for your indoor air quality. The same air will cycle through your HVAC system again and again, picking up more contaminants each time. If you have indoor/outdoor pets, they’re probably staying in the house more in winter, adding extra pet hair and dander to the indoor mix.
In many areas, low humidity is a factor as well, as dry air fosters contaminants. In Arizona, however, average humidity is higher in winter, usually remaining at safe, comfortable levels.
The most important thing to do is change your air filter regularly. Excess contaminants mean it will get clogged more quickly than normal, so check it monthly and replace it as needed to maintain IAQ and airflow. It also helps to dust and vacuum regularly to reduce the dust and pet hair that finds its way into your air filter to begin with.
You may also consider investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. The thicker filter removes up to 99.97% of contaminants in your air, including microscopic viruses and bacteria. A UV air purifier can help as well, killing those viruses and bacteria on contact, along with other organic contaminants in your air such as mold and mildew.
For help improving your indoor air quality, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We take care of Yuma homes through all kinds of weather.