Whether you love getting cozy in the winter or you can't wait to get back outside in the summer heat, a typical Jacksonville, Florida, winter means you'll spend more time indoors. While you're more likely to notice the persistent indoor air quality issues in your home, you don't have to live with these pesky problems. From cold and flu viruses to carbon monoxide, discover five winter indoor air quality issues and how to beat them.
Volatile Organic Compounds
You might not have heard of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but they've probably given you a headache at least once. These are airborne chemicals that substances like paint, adhesives, and other synthetic materials emit. They can also come from air fresheners and cleaning products, and they can lead to headaches and nausea — especially when you're exposed to higher concentrations.
While you can take steps to use more natural cleaning products and use VOC-free paint and carpet adhesives, you'll also want to remove the existing chemicals from the air. At AC Southeast, we recommend investing in a whole-house air purifier that's designed to remove these particles from the air so you can breathe easily.
If you notice more dust than usual during the winter, it's time to take action. Start by establishing a weekly cleaning routine that emphasizes thorough dusting, sweeping, and mopping. Don't forget to launder bedding and vacuum carpet, as dust mites tend to hide there, too.
Then make a point of replacing your HVAC filter every 30 days throughout the winter season. You'll get a handle on your home's dust problem, and you'll help your heating system run more efficiently at the same time.
Cold and Flu Viruses
Winter means cold and flu season in Jacksonville, and you'll want to protect your family from germs every way you possibly can. In addition to encouraging your family to wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently, you can take steps to eliminate germs and viruses from the air.
Some of the most advanced whole-home air purifiers have the ability to remove up to 99 percent of common cold, flu, and even measles viruses from your home's air supply. They don't stop there, though. Some air purifiers also use electric charges to zap viruses, ensuring that they can't make your family sick.
These systems are designed to work with your HVAC system, so they'll purify the air in every room that your HVAC system reaches. Since they clean the air continually, you can look forward to germ-free air around the clock.
Although Jacksonville tends to be humid for most of the year, winter typically brings cooler, dryer air, especially indoors. If you don't do anything to address the low humidity levels, the air circulating through your home can dry out your respiratory system, which can increase your chance of catching a cold or a virus. Dry air also tends to feel cooler, which means you might have to turn up your smart thermostat a few degrees to compensate for the cool feeling.
To address both the comfort and the health issues that dry air brings, our team often recommends starting by adjusting the humidity level. If that doesn't resolve your humidity woes, we typically recommend a whole-house humidifier. These handy devices sync with your HVAC system to ensure that every room in your home is at the right humidity level.
Carbon monoxide is dangerous all year round, but your family's risk of exposure increases during the winter months. If any of your household systems, including the furnace and the clothes dryer, are powered by combustion, there's a chance that they're introducing carbon monoxide into the air.
This gas is transparent, odorless, and tasteless, so you'll need a carbon monoxide detector to monitor the levels inside your home. These devices are easy to install, and we recommend placing one on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. If this harmful gas reaches a dangerous level, you'll be alerted immediately.
This winter, don't let poor indoor air quality make your family sick. Call the HVAC professionals at AC Southeast to learn about effective solutions for your Jacksonville home: 904-201-3006.