Have you had persistent cold-like symptoms, like a stuffy nose, sore throat, or itchy eyes this winter? Are you experiencing a headache that never seems to go away?
You may shrug off your symptoms, reasoning that it is flu season, after all. It’s true, lots of folks get sick this time of year. However, the cause is not always a flu bug.
Long, cold winters here in Virginia Beach actually pose another threat that can affect our homes and our health without us even realizing it.
What’s the enemy we speak of? Poor indoor air quality!
Yes, the air we breathe inside our home could actually be making us sick. Though largely unseen, the contaminants found in our indoor air supply can do our health a lot of damage.
What factors contribute to poor indoor air quality during Virginia winters, and what can you do to battle the enemy of low indoor air quality? Should you have your air professionally tested?
Air Quality Consultants are here to expose threats to indoor air and make professional recommendations on how to maintain a healthy environment in your home.
Virginia Beach Humidity
If you live in the Virginia Beach or Richmond community, you know as well as we do that Virginia is humid!
Average year-round humidity levels are about 70 percent, and many of our days are rainy and wet, especially during the winter.
How does our damp environment relate to indoor air quality? In a word, mold.
High moisture climates promote indoor mold growth. Mold not only can adversely affect your health, but it can also damage your home.
“Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth,” advises the Environmental Protection Agency.
Clearly, moisture control is a huge factor in battling mold, which brings us to another moisture issue: poor indoor ventilation.
Lack of Ventilation
During the cold winter months, we tend to shut up our homes as tightly as possible. Of course, it’s only natural to want to save on electricity bills and stay nice and warm inside.
However, a lack of ventilation in your home can create a whole new problem. Having fresh air inside your home is vital to maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
The American Lung Association comments, “Like the lungs, homes need to be able to breathe to make sure that fresh air comes in and dirty air goes out. Air indoors can build up high levels of moisture, odors, gases, dust, and other air pollutants.”
What can be done about dirty air building up in your home all winter?
“To keep the air safe indoors, fresh outdoor air is needed to dilute these indoor pollutants,” adds the American Lung Association.
Here are a few ways to make sure your home is properly ventilated in the winter:
- Turn on the fan when you shower and keep it running for at least 30 minutes after you finish showering.
- Flip on the exhaust vent when you cook in the kitchen, especially when you steam or boil food.
- Crack a few windows throughout the house to get air moving.
- Maintain your HVAC system, ensuring filters are replaced at regular intervals.
- Use a window fan to pull contaminated air out of the room, especially if you are doing something that involves fumes or chemicals (cleaning, hobbies, etc.).
It’s clear, ventilation is key to breathing clean air! Still, it may take more than opening a window and flipping on a fan to get the air quality at a healthy level in your home. What else can you do?
Test the Air Quality in Your Home
If you’re wondering about the quality of the air you’re breathing in your home, don’t wait to start testing your indoor air quality during this Virginia winter.
With offices in both Richmond and Virginia Beach, Air Quality Consultants have the experience and equipment necessary to properly test your air. We have provided professional indoor air quality testing services to the community since 1991 because we truly care about your air.
With our indoor air quality testing services, you will receive fast and thorough results that will help you identify potential hazards and create an action plan to get healthy air in your home.
Protect the people and the property you love, and get the peace of mind that comes breathing air you know is clean in your home. Contact us today!