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Winter is coming: Tips to Improve your Indoor Air Quality this Winter

Written by Alexandra Villalba

The winters in Texas may be short, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be harsh. Temperatures in the teens, frost covering the roads and heaters working overtime to stave off the bitter cold. During the colder months, many homeowners struggle with insulation and heat retention throughout their homes. Which is why they focus on sufficiently insulating and ‘winterizing’ their spaces, saving money on heating bills while maintaining a consistently comfortable interior temperature throughout the winter.

But few people realize that increased insulation and heating during the winter can also mean staler, dirtier air! With freezing temperatures waiting just outside, most homeowners are loath to crack a window in their homes during the colder months. This lack of circulation can cause indoor air to become increasingly contaminated and polluted, since fresh air is not being introduced into the home. With proper home winterizing comes necessary winter preparation and maintenance of home HVAC systems and air ducts. If you’re looking to keep your home as healthy as it is comfortable this holiday season, here are some tips to help improve the quality of your indoor air during the winter.

Schedule a Heating Inspection in Fall

It’s no surprise that ACs are used far more frequently in the summer months, whereas heating systems are run primarily in the colder months. With this over-reliance on heaters and air conditioners to keep our homes immune to the bitter cold and sweltering heat, our HVAC systems can be easily overstrained throughout the changing seasons. That’s why it’s important to schedule an inspection of your HVAC – especially your heater – early in the fall so that your home is prepared for the nearby frosty future. Make sure that your HVAC is operating at full functionality and that there is no maintenance needed during the fall, so when winter hits, your HVAC is prepared for the extra work. If your heater needs any repairs or replacements, Stryker can help make sure your HVAC is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible this winter.

Clean your Air Ducts

Since folks tend to spend more time indoors with the windows and doors closed during the winter, their homes can be susceptible to stale, dirty air. This is why it’s crucial that indoor air ducts are regularly cleaned to keep the air breathable and safe. With warm air blowing through your vents during most of the day, it can easily accumulate dust and other contaminants, which are then streamed into the air your breath. Pollutants, viruses, and bacteria can linger in your home’s air for months, lowering the quality of the air with each passing day. This can be especially bad for allergy and asthma sufferers, as airborne dander, mold, and dust run rampant throughout your home. Scheduling frequent air duct cleanings with a professional service like Stryker Heating and Cooling can help reduce pollutants inside your home and keep the air safe and sanitary. Stryker can take care of all your duct cleaning needs with the Rotobrush Brushbeast, which eliminates allergens, viruses, mold, bacteria, dander, and more!

Install/Replace Air Filters

We might think that the colder months mean fresher, more crisp air. And that may be the case when you’re standing outside under a fresh canopy of snow. But, the reality is that inside your home, bacteria, mold, dander, and dust are slowly taking over the air, filling every inch of your haven with potentially harmful pollutants. Extra heat and humidity are the ideal conditions for bacterial and mold growth, which is why in-duct air filters are not only necessary but essential to maintaining the air quality in your home. Air filters need to be checked or replaced at least every 30 days to ensure that your indoor air is fresh. To keep your home’s air clean and healthy, you should consider installing a high-grade in-duct air filter like the REME HALO, which significantly reduces airborne particulates and removes 99% of bacteria, mold, and viruses from the air in your home. Many homeowners also invest in a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) for their air ducts to help remove stale air and moisture from their homes. Ask Stryker Heating and Cooling about which air filtration system is right for you this winter.

Dust, Sweep, and Vacuum

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve the quality of your indoor air is to regularly vacuum, dust, and sweep your home. Because people and their pets typically spend more time inside with the doors and windows shut during the winter, dust, dander, dirt, and debris can all build up inside the home, negatively affecting the air quality. By performing regular house-cleaning tasks such as mopping, sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming, you can help keep your home tidy and your air clean and safe at the same time. Pet-owners should be particularly vigilant about controlling the dander and fur build-up in their homes during the winter. To keep your indoor air as clean as possible, you should also consider not allowing your pets inside your bedroom or on the furniture in your home. Either way, keeping up with regular home hygiene can help keep you comfortable and healthy this winter season.

Let Some Fresh Air In

It may be too cold to dine al fresco or enjoy a fresh outdoor breeze, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rejuvenate the air in your home during the colder months. To keep your home’s air clean and pure this winter, try opening the exterior doors of your home and at least one window in each room 10 minutes before you’re about to leave for the day. You only need to leave the doors and windows open for a few minutes – just enough time to release some of the stale air and let in some new air – then you can seal everything up, set your desired indoor temperature, go about your day and return to a fresh, breezy home. On those warmer Texas winter days, be sure to open your windows and let some fresh air inside before you get cozy and crank up the heat again. It’s recommended that you air out your home this way at least once a week in the winter-time to keep your indoor air well-ventilated and clean. An easy step, but one that should not be overlooked during the winter.

Whether you have questions about how to improve the quality of your indoor air or you just want to ensure your air ducts and HVAC are ready for the winter, Stryker Heating & Cooling can help keep your home healthy, safe and warm this holiday season with superior heating and AC repair, professional air filter installation and thorough air duct cleaning services.

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