If you’re like most Seattle residents, winter makes you turn up the
thermostat, dress in warm clothes, and reach for that extra blanket. But
there’s one effect of winter that you may not have considered before—its
impact on your
indoor air quality. You might be surprised to learn that the cold season affects your household’s
air at all, but it does. These are some of the ways in which winter weather
influences the quality of your air:
More insulation means more contaminants
Most of us are more likely to notice drafts when it’s cold out, which
means we’re more likely to have professional insulation installed.
What you may not realize is that making it harder for warm air to escape
your home also means that contaminants such as mold and bacteria are trapped
inside. As a result, your indoor air quality can decrease drastically
after you have your house reinsulated.
A dirty furnace can contribute to poor air quality
When you use your furnace frequently, dust, dirt, and other pollutants
can get clogged in the vents. One of the best ways to ensure that your
furnace continues to work efficiently—and that your air stays clean—is
to change out your air filters once every 90 days or so. If you use your
furnace constantly, you may want to change the filter even more frequently.
Pre-winter furnace inspections are a must
It’s important to remember that simply changing your air filters
won’t keep your entire furnace clean. Having your HVAC system inspected
by a professional before the start of the winter season is a good way
to guarantee that your furnace is clean and that all its components are
fully functional. A pre-winter furnace inspection will provide you with
the assurance that you won’t have to deal with poor indoor air—not
to mention a malfunctioning furnace—when the weather is cold.