As we move through the winter season, many families spend more time inside. Though low temperatures in North Fort Myers aren’t unbearable, the early sunset tends to drive everyone indoors for longer periods of time each day.
With winter comes the dreaded cold and flu season, which may leave you feeling congested, tired, and overall unwell. What you may not realize is that your indoor air quality plays a major role in the state of your health, as well.
What are some of the factors that can impact indoor air quality and what indoor air quality solutions should homeowners reach for this time of year? Read on to find out.
Shaking Out Trapped Pollen
Do you sneeze and cough your way through the growing season? Once the summer months are behind us, it’s easy to assume that we no longer have to worry about allergies. After all, the biggest culprits are largely dormant, even down here in Florida.
If you feel like you’re still waking up with a head full of pollen, it’s possible that you are. When pollen counts are high, we track pollen indoors on our clothing and shoes. It can float in through open windows or get sucked into our HVAC systems.
Giving your home a thorough vacuuming and washing linens like curtains can help. The most important thing, however, is that you have your HVAC system serviced, including a complete vent cleaning. This will remove any trapped pollen so that it can’t keep circulating through your home all winter long.
Keeping Mold at Bay
We tend to think the Fort Myers rainy season is over once we hit early winter. For the first time in five years, the region is experiencing an El Niño winter, and with it comes a deluge of rain.
In other words, humidity levels won’t decrease as much as they normally do. High humidity levels create a breeding ground for mold colonies. This can lead to allergy-like symptoms or worsening symptoms for household members with respiratory problems like asthma.
We’ve talked before about home humidity solutions. This includes things like having your HVAC serviced, installing a dehumidifier, and airing out high-humidity spaces like bathrooms and basements. By tackling humidity head-on, you can keep mold from wreaking havoc on your indoor air quality.
Combatting Dry Indoor Air
On the flip side of having too much humidity is the issue of not having enough. If the stormy weather has you turning up the thermostat, you may notice your indoor air drying out.
When you’re constantly surrounded by dry air, you’re going to notice negative effects. For example, your skin and hair may feel drier and more brittle. You may also develop a sore throat and dried-out nasal passages, which may leave you more susceptible to airborne viruses.
If your air dries out when you run your heat, make sure to turn off any dehumidifiers while the heat is on. Depending on the severity, you may want to use a small humidifier in your bedroom to create more comfort while you sleep.
Being Mindful of Heating Solutions
Few things feel quite as festive as a crackling fire in the winter months. For families who choose not to run their heat in Fort Myers, a fireplace or wood-burning stove can be an appealing option on those nights when temperatures drop substantially.
When using these kinds of heating solutions, make sure you’re using proper ventilation methods. Even wood-burning fireplaces and stoves emit harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide. If they’re seeping into your home, these pollutants are bad for air quality at best and deadly at worst.
Always have heating equipment of any kind inspected at least once a year. If needed, upgrade to newer technology that produces fewer pollutants and offers seamless ventilation. If you use alternative heating solutions to cut costs, talk to an HVAC specialist about energy-efficient upgrades that will keep your home temperature controlled without breaking the bank.
Tackling Extra Shedding
If you have pets in the home, you may notice a buildup in pet hair in the winter months. There are generally two reasons for this: your pet is spending more time inside and they’re sporting their winter coat.
Along with extra shedding comes extra dander, which can trigger an allergic response for some of your household members and guests. The good news is that you can keep your pets without living with all that extra hair.
If you don’t like the look of all that hair, your best options are to vacuum more frequently or invest in an autonomous vacuum. If your primary problem lies with the dander, talk to an HVAC professional about upgrading your filters for better indoor air quality.
Ventilating the Home in Winter
In the winter months, many homeowners keep their doors and windows shut tight. If your home feels stuffy in the winter months, it’s probably because you’re not getting enough ventilation.
We tend to enjoy great outdoor air quality here in North Fort Myers. Now that we’re past the peak pollen counts of summer and the Canadian wildfires of autumn, our outdoor air quality is at its finest. A quick ventilation solution is to open your windows for a few hours so that outdoor air can dilute any indoor air pollutants that are trapped in your home.
When windows are closed, any air circulation in their home comes from the HVAC system, which can make a great deal of difference as long as the HVAC system is clean and functional. Make sure to have your HVAC serviced and repaired as needed to promote good winter indoor air quality.
Give Us a Call for North Fort Myers Indoor Air Quality Solutions
We might enjoy milder winters in North Fort Myers than many do in other parts of the nation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deal with indoor air quality issues when temperatures dip. If you’re looking for indoor air quality solutions, you’re in the right place.
Florida Cooling Solutions has been in the HVAC business since 2004. For expert care, contact us today.