A recent global air quality survey shows that 50% of the world's population suffers from household air pollution effects. The importance of boosting indoor air quality can't, therefore, be overemphasized.
To understand how to improve indoor air quality in Winter, you must first know what causes poor indoor air quality during Winter in the first place. Effects of poor indoor air quality are dire. The solutions range from taking simple measures like ventilating your home to finding the best vacuum for air quality. However, let's first discuss indoor air quality management in Winter and related issues.
What Are the Issues Behind Poor Air Quality in Winter?
Indoor air quality reduces in Winter since homeowners become more conscious of air leaks around windows, doors, rim joists, piping, etc., and result in insulation, among other efforts to boost comfort and lower heating bills. People tend to keep doors and windows locked tightly during Winter to maintain indoor warmth; however, these have negative effects.
Poor circulation of air indoors allows a buildup of bacteria, viruses, dust mites, mold spores, and other pathogens responsible for many health problems ranging from headaches, fatigue, and dizziness to more severe effects like respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart disease, according to the EPA. Volatile organic compounds (from paint, cleaning agents, etc.), pets, smoke, etc., are also to blame for poor air quality indoors.
5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Given the effects of poor indoor air quality in seasons like Winter, it's important to take certain measures. Here's how to improve indoor air quality in five simple ways.
You can grow some indoor plants to boost your indoor air quality. Numerous studies, including one done by NASA, have linked indoor plants to improved air quality. Houseplants can absorb harmful pathogens in the air. They work perfectly in tight spaces and rooms with little to no airflow. While plants may be slower than air purifiers regarding their indoor air purifying capabilities, they have other notable benefits. For instance, plants are more therapeutic and cost-effective than air purifiers.
However, you need a specific number of plants to realize indoor air quality benefits i.e., 2-3 plants for every 100-square feet of indoor space. Some plants are also better than others at purifying the air. Areca palm, snake plant, money plant, and Chinese evergreens are examples of good indoor plants to consider for better indoor air quality.
Monitor Indoor Air Quality
To improve air quality indoors, you must first know your indoor air quality status. Indoor air quality monitors (IAQ monitors) offer accurate data on air quality, allowing you to take effective improvement measures. The best IAQ monitors today can detect almost all pollutants indoors, including radon - the chemical linked to 13.4% of all lung cancer-related deaths in the U.S. IAQ monitors can detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) responsible for many respiratory health problems like sinuses.
The benefits of monitoring indoor air quality include identifying the specific pollutant in your home to be able to find effective ways of getting rid of that pollutant. You can be able to know exactly when to ventilate during Winter when the levels of a certain pollutant surpass a certain level.
A good air quality monitor will monitor many other metrics, including indoor temperature, air pressure, and humidity, that are linked to how we feel and perform. Imbalances in temperature, air pressure, and humidity are common causes of headaches, migraines, joint pain, and blood pressure variations. There's even evidence linking indoor air quality to impaired thinking.
Open Your Windows
It's understandable why people don't like opening their windows during Winter. The effort associated with keeping your indoor environment warm and comfortable usually outweighs the need for fresh air. However, you must open your windows periodically to keep your indoor air quality level safe. If you have an indoor air quality monitor, you can know the exact time to ventilate.
Clean and Vacuum More Often
Keeping your floor and floor covering as carpets and mats can also boost your indoor air quality immensely. There is a clear link between carpets and poor indoor air quality. Carpets are linked to an increased allergen, dust, and pathogen levels in homes. The link between carpets and health problems like asthma, anxious symptoms, and mild cognitive effects is also clear.
Carpets, mats, and dirty floors harbor dust, dust mites, mold, and many pathogens linked to indoor air quality problems. All these problems can be solved by vacuuming and moping your floor more often, especially during Winter when air circulation is poor. However, most vacuum cleaners won't get the job done. Some vacuum cleaners worsen indoor air quality by releasing dust, bacteria, and allergens back into the air. Mops also need to be clean, otherwise, they'll also reintroduce pathogens.
To solve this problem, consider the best vacuum for air quality out there today with a HEPA filter, such as the Dreame D9 robot vacuum. The Dreame D9 is a vacuum cleaner, mop, and robot all in one offering unparalleled stress-free cleaning experiences. It uses a laser system and smart algorithm to map a cleaning route in your home and clean efficiently and thoroughly while avoiding obstacles with ease.
Change Furnace Filters Regularly
Since indoor heating needs increase drastically, furnace filters are bound to gather particulate matter faster. Furnace filters won't work as efficiently as they do during winter if you don't replace them regularly. Removing dirty and clogged filters more than once during Winter will ensure the trapped particulate matter doesn't recirculate back.
After taking the measures above, you won’t have indoor air quality management problems. You should start by monitoring the quality of your air indoors before purposing to open windows and doors more often, adding indoor plants, opening your windows more often, and replacing your furnace filters. Most importantly, you should invest in a good vacuum cleaner and mop like the Dreame D9 proven to clean your carpet, rugs, and floors automatically.