Poor indoor air quality can be concerning throughout the year, as the Canadian Lung Association estimates that the average Canadian spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors. This problem is amplified during the winter months, as people tend to spend a great deal of time taking shelter from the cold weather in the comfort of their home or office, with the windows tightly shut.
In order to maintain your health, safety and comfort during the winter, it is extremely important to take steps such as these to improve the quality of the air in your home or place of work:
Purchase a humidifier
When air is heated its relative humidity drops, lowering your home’s humidity level during the winter months. Dry air can have a number of unpleasant health effects, including dehydration and itchy skin, eyes and throat. Low humidity levels can also cause the temperature in your home to feel colder than a properly humidified home (since moist air feels warmer than dry air), thus affecting your comfort and potentially your energy bills if you turn up the heat to compensate. A humidifier can offer many benefits including healthy skin, less static electricity build-up, better quality of sleep, reduced dust build-up and overall improved air quality.
The air outside of your home is on average 3 times cleaner than the air inside your home. Therefore, the best way to improve your indoor air quality is to improve your ventilation and provide more clean outside air to your living space. Consider adding a heat recovery (HRV) or enthalpy recovery (ERV) ventilator to not only supply clean, fresh air, but recover the energy and humidity from the exhaust air.
Have a proper HVAC system in place
Among the many benefits of having a proper HVAC system in place, your heating and air conditioning can help facilitate a pleasant and healthy breathing experience year-round. Your HVAC system will create an environment in which a consistent temperature is maintained, thereby enhancing your indoor air quality. Humidity control, allergen and contagion removal, and odor reduction and elimination are all benefits that you can reap when a well-maintained HVAC system is in place.
Keep your home a smoke-free zone
Winter is not a welcoming season to cigarette smokers, and the cold weather can be enough to prevent some people from venturing outdoors to satisfy a craving. Second-hand cigarette smoke can be a very harmful source of indoor air pollution, and therefore it is recommended to keep your home and office a smoke-free zone.
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