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Does Air Quality Get Worse in the Winter?

Several factors can cause indoor air quality to worsen in the winter. A primary reason is that we tend to keep our homes shut up and closed to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. This means that our homes have significantly reduced airflow and very little fresh air coming in. Consequently, pollutants build up, and our air quality and health suffer.

Other factors that can cause indoor air quality to suffer during the winter:

  • Extended use of central heating, as well as space heaters, can dry air out
  • The use of fireplaces can cause more pollutants to buildup in our homes
  • Modern doors and windows are more tightly sealed, further reducing airflow
  • People spend more time indoors, making bacteria and viruses more common inside

Though it may seem counterintuitive, some homes also experience an excess of humidity in the winter. While central heating can be drying, in homes with poor ventilation, humidity can build up in areas prone to moisture, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and basements. Excess humidity can lead to mold and mildew growth, allergy symptoms, and the more likely spread of illnesses.

Review our blog to learn more about the negative effects of poor indoor air quality.

How to Combat Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Winter

So, what can you do to improve the indoor air quality in your home? The answer to this question will depend on the specific issues you’re dealing with. For example, a whole-house air filter or purifier might be your best bet if you're dealing with contaminants and pollutants. Meanwhile, a dehumidifier might be best if you’re struggling with moisture and mold issues. Conversely, if it’s dry skin, static electricity, and allergy symptoms brought on by dry air, a humidifier can help.

Options for improving your home’s air quality include:

  • Air cleaners, purifiers, and filters
  • Humidifiers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • UV air disinfectant systems

Should You Buy a Room-Size Filtration System?

Often homeowners struggle with poor indoor air quality in the winter and go out and buy a bunch of room-sized filters or humidifiers. While this might have a short-term impact, they rarely resolve the underlying issue, and you may find that you end up having to spend more money down the road. Before purchasing an air filter or other air purification device, it is a good idea to speak with one of our air quality specialists.

The benefits of a whole-home air quality system:

  • Can resolve the issue you’re experiencing long-term
  • Can improve the overall comfort of your home
  • Can be incorporated into your home’s HVAC system in a way that is unobtrusive and out of the way
  • Whole-home systems tend to last longer than small, room-sized devices
  • Whole-home systems tend to be more efficient than small air-quality appliances

If you are experiencing air quality issues in your home, contact Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our team can help you explore all your options and guide you in selecting the type of air filtration or purification system that best suits your unique needs.