TRUSTWORTHY. ON-TIME. WORRY-FREE.

Winter Indoor Air Quality Tips

Winter Indoor Air Quality Tips - Service Champions

Winter makes indoor air quality much more apparent due to the increased time spend indoors and reduced ventilation from closed windows and improved air sealing and insulation.

Trapping air will lead to unhealthy conditions, which is why it’s important to have ventilation and other systems in place to refresh your air and improve indoor air quality.

In addition to air sealing and insulation improvements, indoor air pollution tends to get worse in winter for the following reasons:

  • More insulation (aka “winterization”)
  • Increased use of scented candles, air fresheners, and cleaning agents (most of these products release volatile organic compounds and are susceptible to offgassing)
  • More time spent indoors (hobbies and other projects come inside)
  • Increased indoor air contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses

Do you feel better or worse after you return to the building? Learn how to tell if you unhealthy indoor air quality by checking for these IAQ warning signs.

Luckily, there are many ways to improve your indoor air quality this winter and year-round.

Winter Indoor Air Quality Tips

If you have pets, keep them outdoors if you can.

We understand that pets are often part of the family and need to be indoors when the weather is bad. If your pet lives with you in the home, at least keep them away from the bedroom, sleeping areas, furniture, and other areas where there is a lot of fabric to catch the allergens in your pet’s skin glands and fur.

Other strategies for controlling the allergies produced by your pets include using HEPA vacuum filters, air cleaners, higher-MERV-rated HVAC filters, bathing your pet frequently, and trying different treatments (immunotherapy, steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and pills).

When you get home, take off your shoes and change your clothes.

Have an area near your door where people can take their shoes off (the Japanese call it a genkan). A dedicated area for footwear removal will prevent your family and guests from tracking pollutants into your home.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to take a shower and wash your hair before you go to bed to get rid of all the pollen and other contaminants that may have gotten stuck in your body hair. If you have a pet that is entering from the outdoors, clean off their paws and fur before they enter the home. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your pet for ticks.

Schedule air-conditioning maintenance in the spring and furnace maintenance in the fall.

Regular HVAC maintenance will make sure your so your system is clean, safe, and energy-efficient all year round.

Also, conduct your own DIY air conditioning maintenance; most importantly, check your filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to replace it. Learn how to troubleshoot furnace problems.

Since the air that circulates through your home goes through your HVAC and duct system, it’s important to keep these components clean. It’s recommended that you have you schedule duct cleaning every 5-7 years.

Invest in a better air filtration system and consider built-in air cleaners

HVAC air filters are rated on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) system. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration.

Although MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, the higher MERV ratings are reserved for HEPA filters, which require professional modification of your existing system. If you would like hospital-quality air filtration, you’ll want a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. If you aren’t quite ready to modify your HVAC system to fit these thicker and more effective air filters, then we recommend purchasing air filters with a MERV rating between 7 and 13.

Schedule professional duct cleaning and sealing.

Have a professional HVAC technician come and check your duct system for leaks and dirty conditions. You can get an idea of how your dirty your air ducts are by sticking a flash camera into one of your ducts and taking a picture.

According to the EPA, the average American home lose 20 to 30 percent of their conditioned air out of duct leaks in the home. While it’s possible to do some basic air sealing with mastic sealant (ironically, never duct tape), it’s best to call a professional for duct improvement.

It’s highly recommended that you limit duct losses by sealing all the joints and insulating ductwork in unconditioned spaces like the attic.

Cleaning and sealing your air ducts not only improves indoor air quality, it also helps you save money and energy. Learn more about the importance of getting your ducts cleaned for winter.

Speak with an indoor air quality specialist at Service Champions to learn more about:

For more information on improving your indoor air quality and getting your HVAC system ready for winter, contact the professionals at Service Champions.

Sign up for an HVAC maintenance agreement such as our Maintenance Value Plan (MVP) for bi-annual HVAC tune-ups and MVP treatment.

Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time home service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas. Experience the Diamond Certified difference.

Winter Indoor Air Quality Tips - Service Champions

Winter makes indoor air quality much more apparent due to the increased time spend indoors and reduced ventilation from closed windows and improved air sealing and insulation.

Trapping air will lead to unhealthy conditions, which is why it’s important to have ventilation and other systems in place to refresh your air and improve indoor air quality.

In addition to air sealing and insulation improvements, indoor air pollution tends to get worse in winter for the following reasons:

  • More insulation (aka “winterization”)
  • Increased use of scented candles, air fresheners, and cleaning agents (most of these products release volatile organic compounds and are susceptible to offgassing)
  • More time spent indoors (hobbies and other projects come inside)
  • Increased indoor air contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses

Do you feel better or worse after you return to the building? Learn how to tell if you unhealthy indoor air quality by checking for these IAQ warning signs.

Luckily, there are many ways to improve your indoor air quality this winter and year-round.

Winter Indoor Air Quality Tips

If you have pets, keep them outdoors if you can.

We understand that pets are often part of the family and need to be indoors when the weather is bad. If your pet lives with you in the home, at least keep them away from the bedroom, sleeping areas, furniture, and other areas where there is a lot of fabric to catch the allergens in your pet’s skin glands and fur.

Other strategies for controlling the allergies produced by your pets include using HEPA vacuum filters, air cleaners, higher-MERV-rated HVAC filters, bathing your pet frequently, and trying different treatments (immunotherapy, steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and pills).

When you get home, take off your shoes and change your clothes.

Have an area near your door where people can take their shoes off (the Japanese call it a genkan). A dedicated area for footwear removal will prevent your family and guests from tracking pollutants into your home.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to take a shower and wash your hair before you go to bed to get rid of all the pollen and other contaminants that may have gotten stuck in your body hair. If you have a pet that is entering from the outdoors, clean off their paws and fur before they enter the home. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your pet for ticks.

Schedule air-conditioning maintenance in the spring and furnace maintenance in the fall.

Regular HVAC maintenance will make sure your so your system is clean, safe, and energy-efficient all year round.

Also, conduct your own DIY air conditioning maintenance; most importantly, check your filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to replace it. Learn how to troubleshoot furnace problems.

Since the air that circulates through your home goes through your HVAC and duct system, it’s important to keep these components clean. It’s recommended that you have you schedule duct cleaning every 5-7 years.

Invest in a better air filtration system and consider built-in air cleaners

HVAC air filters are rated on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) system. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration.

Although MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, the higher MERV ratings are reserved for HEPA filters, which require professional modification of your existing system. If you would like hospital-quality air filtration, you’ll want a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. If you aren’t quite ready to modify your HVAC system to fit these thicker and more effective air filters, then we recommend purchasing air filters with a MERV rating between 7 and 13.

Schedule professional duct cleaning and sealing.

Have a professional HVAC technician come and check your duct system for leaks and dirty conditions. You can get an idea of how your dirty your air ducts are by sticking a flash camera into one of your ducts and taking a picture.

According to the EPA, the average American home lose 20 to 30 percent of their conditioned air out of duct leaks in the home. While it’s possible to do some basic air sealing with mastic sealant (ironically, never duct tape), it’s best to call a professional for duct improvement.

It’s highly recommended that you limit duct losses by sealing all the joints and insulating ductwork in unconditioned spaces like the attic.

Cleaning and sealing your air ducts not only improves indoor air quality, it also helps you save money and energy. Learn more about the importance of getting your ducts cleaned for winter.

Speak with an indoor air quality specialist at Service Champions to learn more about:

For more information on improving your indoor air quality and getting your HVAC system ready for winter, contact the professionals at Service Champions.

Sign up for an HVAC maintenance agreement such as our Maintenance Value Plan (MVP) for bi-annual HVAC tune-ups and MVP treatment.

Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time home service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas. Experience the Diamond Certified difference.