Don’t Let Your Indoor Air Quality Suffer This Winter in Your Airtight Home

If you’re like most homeowners today, you’ve probably taken steps to lower energy use in your home. One of those steps likely included air sealing to ensure conditioned air stays in and the weather stays out. While this is certainly an effective way to reduce monthly expenses, a home that’s well sealed can degrade indoor air quality (IAQ) by locking more pollutants in.

Before air sealing became so popular, fresh breathing air had better access inside through those small holes and cracks in a home’s shell. IAQ in winter can become an even bigger problem, when you likely work extra hard to keep the cold weather out. The following steps are relatively simple and inexpensive ways to improve IAQ in winter:

Eliminating Pollutants

  • Use household cleaners that aren’t made with harmful chemicals. You can find such products in most grocery stores, and they’re typically labeled as being environmentally safe products. You can also use a damp cloth to dust some areas.
  • Avoid having cigarette smoke anywhere near your home.
  • Choose furniture, carpeting and textiles that aren’t made with harmful chemicals when you need to upgrade.

Isolating Sources of Poor Indoor Air Quality

  • Store products that are made with pollutants in your garage or an outdoor storage shed.
  • Have a professional line the floor of basements and crawl spaces with plastics covers to keep radon from coming into your home.
  • Hire a professional to check that natural gas appliances like the furnace and water heater are properly vented to the outdoors.
  • Consider purchasing sealed combustion units when buying new appliances.

Ventilating to Keep the Air Flowing

  • Let in fresh air by opening windows whenever the weather allows it.
  • Use a mechanical ventilation device to help ensure proper circulation of the air throughout your home.
  • Ask a qualified HVAC contractor to help you figure out the best kind of ventilation system for your household’s needs.

For more tips on improving IAQ in winter in your greater Cincinnati home, feel free to contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Image via Shutterstock.com

 

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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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