For years, the goal of home builders everywhere has been ever tighter construction so conditioned air can’t leak out and unconditioned air can get in. Only in recent years has attention been focused on the poor indoor air quality that results from airtight homes.
Indoor air quality or IAQ is important all year long, but IAQ during the winter should be addressed with particular concern in our area because we tend to keep our houses closed up all season long.
Older homes, notorious for leaky construction, generally allow some exhausting of stale air and exchange of fresh air, while in newer homes, the bathroom and kitchen exhaust ventilation may be the only way stale air gets out. Unless homeowners have a ventilation system installed, there may be no way of getting fresh air in.
Improving IAQ During the Winter
How can homeowners address the problem of poor IAQ during the winter? After all, it doesn’t make any sense to continually open and close the windows when its cold outside
The first step is to eliminate as many hazardous chemicals as possible. Few of us have any idea what’s contained in the products we buy to clean and shine our homes. Fortunately, most carpet, furniture, finishes, paint and textiles now give off lower doses of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Even so, look at the labels, and choose carefully.
Radon is not always present in damaging levels in your home, but there’s only one way to find out. Radon testing specialists can test your home and the soil underneath it and advise you what measures to take. Appliances that burn fuel in your home, such as a furnace or gas range, should be properly vented and operated to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.
A well-balanced ventilation system should, by means of a fan, pull out stale air and draw in fresh air. Several types of ventilation systems are available, so discuss with your HVAC expert to find out which type is right for your home.
To learn more about IAQ during the winter, call Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. We’ve been serving the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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