During the winter season, most homeowners seem intent on controlling the increasing heating costs incurred due to the colder weather. Unfortunately, many of them are so wrapped up in saving money, they forsake the idea of indoor air quality or IAQ in winter, which can present an unhealthy situation in your household.
The Importance of a Home Energy Audit
When fighting for better indoor air quality, it's always best to take a whole-house approach. In other words, while it's nice to concentrate on each room on its own, you'll have more success with improving IAQ by thinking of it in terms of your entire home. For the best results, hire a professional HVAC contractor to perform a home performance and energy audit. This will clue you into the key areas where you should be concentrating your efforts.
Eliminate, Isolate and Ventilate
After the home energy audit has been completed, use this three-step process to improve IAQ in winter:
- Eliminate - Whenever possible, eliminate pollutants that can get into your home's air by avoiding the use of certain products such as chemical cleaners, paints that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), etc. One of the biggest contributors to bad indoor air quality is cigarettes, so if you haven't quit already, this might be a good time.
- Isolate - Certain pollutants are difficult to avoid altogether, such as exhaust from gas appliances like your stove, clothes dryer and . But while you might not be able to cut out their use, you can vent the harmful exhaust outside your home safely.
- Ventilate - Thanks to the weather, you won't be able to open your windows for ventilation, not to mention that this technique isn't very efficient. What you want to look into is mechanical ventilation, which requires one or more electric fans to exchange and circulate the air.
For more expert advice on how to improve IAQ in winter, or if you have other questions related to home comfort, please don't hesitate to contact the professionals at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We've been serving the HVAC needs of the greater Cleveland area since 1936.