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Improving Indoor Air Quality & Balancing Humidity During the Winter

Humidity word written on wet window with condensate. High level of dampness in apartment.

The Impact of Excess Humidity on Indoor Air Quality in Winter 

During winter, while the air outside tends to be drier than usual, it's a different story inside our homes. Our homes can effectively trap and accumulate humidity, creating an uncomfortable living environment. The excess moisture can also encourage the growth of mold and mildew and may even contribute to longer recovery times for colds and other seasonal illnesses.  

In addition to excess humidity, several other factors can degrade your indoor air quality during winter: 

  • Poor ventilation 

  • Increased use of heating systems 

  • Use of fireplaces and candles 

  • Use of chemical cleaners 

  • Dust and dander 

Understanding these factors can help us take the necessary steps to improve the air quality in our homes during the winter season. 

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Winter 

Improving indoor air quality during the winter season may seem challenging, but with the right strategies, it is totally achievable. Investing in a whole-home air filtration system is one of the most effective solutions to improving your home's air quality. Designed to work seamlessly with your existing HVAC system, these filtration systems filter out pollutants throughout your home.  

Benefits of these air filtration systems include:  

  • Improved Air Quality: they can effectively filter and eliminate a wide range of pollutants, including dust, dander, mold spores and other allergens. 

  • Health Benefits: by reducing pollutants, these systems can help alleviate allergy symptoms and asthma attacks, contributing to better respiratory health. 

  • Efficiency: whole-home systems filter air throughout the entire house, unlike portable units that only cover specific rooms. 

  • Maintenance: these systems can be less demanding in terms of maintenance as they generally require filter changes less frequently than portable room-sized units. 

  • Silent Operation: unlike portable units, whole-home systems operate silently as they are integrated into your existing HVAC system.  

Considering these benefits, a whole-home air filtration system could be a worthy investment for healthier and more comfortable living conditions during the winter season. 

What About Air Scrubbers? 

Air scrubbers present another valuable solution to improve indoor air quality during winter. An air scrubber is a small air quality device that sanitizes your home's air as it passes through your HVAC system. Unlike regular filtration systems, which merely trap larger pollutants, air scrubbers can effectively eliminate smaller contaminants such as bacteria, microbes, viruses and mold spores. 

Ultraviolet (UV) air scrubbers incorporate a specialized lamp that generates ultraviolet light, creating an environment that is too harsh for microscopic organisms to survive. As the air circulates through your HVAC system, it is exposed to this UV light. The UV light then effectively neutralizes the microbes present in the air. Consequently, before the air is recirculated back into your living space, it will have been stripped of the majority of harmful microbes, creating a healthier home environment.  

DIY Tips for Improving Humidity Levels in Winter 

Balancing the humidity levels in your home is crucial to maintaining a comfortable and healthy living environment, particularly during the winter season. Here are some practical DIY tips to help you regulate your home's humidity and thereby improve air quality. 

If you need to increase the humidity in your home, consider: 

  • Boiling Water: a simple way to add more moisture to your home's air is by boiling water. The steam produced will increase the humidity levels. For added benefit, you can simmer your favorite herbs or spices in the water to infuse your home with a refreshing aroma. 

  • Indoor Plants: plants naturally release moisture into the air through a process called transpiration. Place several indoor plants around your home to help improve the air's humidity. 

  • Use of Humidifiers: portable humidifiers are an effective way to increase moisture in the air and can be especially useful in rooms where you spend a lot of time, like your bedroom or home office. 

If you need to decrease the humidity in your home, you can: 

  • Utilize Dehumidifiers: these devices work by removing excess moisture from the air, helping to prevent mold growth and other humidity-related issues. Consider using a dehumidifier in rooms that tend to be more humid, like your bathroom or basement. 

  • Ventilation: proper ventilation is key to reducing humidity. Ensure bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-humidity areas are well-ventilated. Use exhaust fans when cooking or showering to help minimize indoor humidity levels. You can also open your windows for short periods on nice days to bring fresh, drier air inside.  

Remember, achieving a balance in your home's humidity levels is essential not only for your comfort but also for maintaining a healthier indoor air environment during the winter season. 

Are you looking for solutions to your home's indoor air quality and humidity issue? Contact the team at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar to discuss your options. From DIY tips to whole-home systems, our team will take care of you.  

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