In winter, people often spend more time inside, and they don’t open their windows because of the chilly weather. This can make the indoor air quality in your home worse, causing headaches, eye irritation, dry skin, nosebleeds, increased asthma or allergy symptoms, and other problems. You can keep your Hilton Head, South Carolina, home healthy in winter and improve your indoor air quality by using a humidifier, adding a UV air purifier, cleaning often, and installing a ventilator.
Using a Humidifier
Using your heater in winter makes the air inside your home dry, causing static electricity and sore throats and making you and your family feel cold and uncomfortable. Also, viruses can travel from person to person faster in dry air. A humidifier will help everyone in your home feel healthier, and it can even prevent snoring.
Since you’ll feel warmer with more moisture in the air, you can use your furnace less and save energy. You won’t have to worry about cracks in wood flooring, doors, and furniture from dry air. You’ll also be able to touch your cat or add some new hardware to your computer without getting an annoying shock or damaging your electronics.
You can use a portable humidifier to add moisture to one or two rooms at a time or have a whole-home humidifier installed by a professional. Too much moisture in your home’s air can lead to mold, so you should use a hygrometer to monitor your humidity. Many humidifiers come with this instrument included.
Adding a UV Air Purifier
Ultraviolet lamps or air purifiers use UVC light to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. The planet’s atmosphere normally blocks most UVC light, and it’s stronger than UVA and UVB light, the types of UV light that can cause sunburns. It kills microscopic organisms like germs by damaging their genetic structure. With a UV lamp, you can keep mold from blocking your system’s airflow or harming your home. You can also prevent colds and other health problems.
Coil sterilization lights attach to the inside of your HVAC system’s air handler with a strong magnet, while air sterilization lights are installed in your ductwork. Air sterilization lights are more expensive, but they use less power because they only come on when your heater or air conditioner starts.
You should vacuum at least once every week to capture dust, dirt, bacteria, or other contaminants and improve your indoor air quality. Even if your floors don’t look dirty, they could have dust mites, pet dander, insect droppings, and other contaminants. Empty your vacuum cleaner bag outside to make sure any dust inside stays out of your home, and clean your vacuum’s air filter at least once per month. When you can, use natural cleaning products like vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda instead of commercial cleaners that could have harmful chemicals.
You should also dust furniture, household objects, ceiling fans, and air registers. Place a rug or a welcome mat at all your doors to catch dirt, dust, mud, and debris. Ask people to remove their shoes so that they can’t track anything into your home. You can keep a few clean pairs of slippers or fuzzy socks near your door for visitors.
Installing a Ventilator
An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) removes stale, polluted indoor air and replaces it with outdoor air. It also operates like a heat pump to transfer heat from the indoor air to the fresh air in winter and cool the incoming air in summer. That way, you can get the same benefits as you would from opening a window without wasting energy. ERVs also filter outside air to remove pollutants like pollen before they can enter your home. Some ERVs fit in a window like a window air conditioning unit, while others should be installed in your ductwork by a professional.
Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning has more than 30 years of HVAC experience, and we’re a Factory Authorized Carrier Dealer. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of heating and cooling equipment, including devices to keep your home healthy. Call us anytime at 912-373-8447 for outstanding service.
Image provided by Shutterstock