Most of the air quality news we hear about in California usually involves the outdoor smog from automobiles and manufacturing plants, or the seasonal pollen count conversations that pop up come spring. But air quality isn’t a problem exclusive to the outdoors, or to just a single time of year. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is often much worse than the outdoor air—up to five times worse in fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency!
So what are the pitfalls of IAQ in the fall and winter?
IAQ & Your Furnace
As the temperatures start to drop through the fall, there’s no doubt you and your family are spending more time indoors. This means closed windows, closed doors, and you’re likely switching your thermostat from “cool” to “heat.” With a closed home, proper ventilation is much harder to achieve (especially without a whole house fan), so the air in your home is circulating any pollutants with no means of escape. What’s more is that as you rely on your furnace to keep your home warm, the combustion it requires could be releasing harmful byproducts into your living space. The most prominent byproduct of combustion appliances is carbon monoxide, which can be harmful even in low levels.
Allergies Aren’t Just for Spring!
Sure, spring might be the most popular time for plants to bloom, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only time! Winter blooming plants can cause seasonal allergies as they enter your home; an increase in dust mites and mold growth is common as you close up your home for the colder temperatures; and all of these irritants are recirculating your home with nowhere to go.
Your family and home also send pollutants and harmful particles into the air. Off-gassing occurs when the materials that make up your home (wood, drywall, paint etc) slowly release particles into the air. And as you use cleaning supplies, soaps and detergents, and other harmful chemicals in your home, those particles are also circulating in the air you breathe if they are not properly filtered and ventilated.
There are a few key indicators and symptoms of poor IAQ:
So what can you do to boost your home’s IAQ before it gives you a headache?
Healthy Habits & Home Ventilation and Purification
Simply being aware of your home’s IAQ is the first step towards breathing healthier home air. If you are more conscious of the chemicals you bring into your home, you can cut down on the particles you introduce. But you can also be proactive about actively removing those particles from your home.
Check Your Air Filters Regularly
The air filters in your air conditioner and furnace should be checked each month and replaced as necessary (per manufacturer specifications). This is the first line of defense when it comes to catching the pollutants that send your IAQ plummeting. Your ductwork could also have leaks and faults that are allowing more dust to enter the air in your home.
Any mechanical system that removes air from the inside if your home is classified as home ventilation. This can include your bathroom fans and oven range hood, but these are usually not very efficient for proper ventilation. Whole house fans are installed in the attic and replace the air in your home 15-20 times per hour. They also come with an added summer bonus of dropping the temperatures in your house without the use of your air conditioner!
Whole House Air Purification
If you are looking to keep your IAQ free from as many harmful particles as possible, a whole house air purifier will kill 99.9% of all harmful microbes using ionization and UV light. These systems are installed in-line with your heating and cooling systems to remove anything that enters your home. REE proudly installs the REME HALO® In-duct air purifier, which operates by recreating nature’s process of purifying the air, and will purify every inch of cubic air that your central systems can reach.
Improve Your Year Round IAQ with REE Mechanical
If you want to keep your Temecula home a sanctuary from the outdoor smog and allergens, talk to the local experts at REE Mechanical. We take pride in our training, customer service, and expertise in the Temecula climate. Each individual home doesn’t just deserve a custom approach, it requires it. Breathe better and breathe easier in your home today!
Don’t let the quality of the air you breathe drop with the temperatures. Boost your home’s IAQ with REE Mechanical! Give us a call at 1 (855) 636-8216 or contact us today!