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Indoor Air Quality Issues Most Serious During Winter Months

Posted in Indoor Air Quality on December 2nd, 2013 by Hunter Adams

According to a new study from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollutants pose a greater health risk to the average American than outdoor pollutants.  Researchers not only found that the average indoor level was 2 to 5 times higher than the outdoor one, they also determined that most of us spend a lot more time indoors than out. On average, we breath potentially polluted indoor air about 90 percent of the time. This proportion is even higher during the winter months, when most of us only venture outdoors when we must.

It is also important to note that pollutants are often circulated throughout our abodes by central heating/cooling systems, which run almost continuously during the wintertime. What can we do to rid our homes of indoor pollutants? The first step is to do some testing and find out how polluted the inside air you breathe is.

Buy a test kit

You may not be able to find them at your local hardware store, but professional-grade air quality test kits are available to the public. You can purchase them online from companies like IAQ Index.  These test kits help homeowners identify pollutants and other contaminants, including allergens, dirt, and dust. If the reading is in the unhealthy range, you should address the problem as soon as possible.

Solutions

If you have a home heating/cooling system that uses ductwork, cleaning it out can work wonders. Simply contact a HVAC professional and schedule a cleaning before periods of heavy usage. According to most experts, you should have your system cleaned at least once a year, preferably before the summer or winter months.