When you live in a far northern hemisphere country like Canada, having heat during the winter season is simply not optional!
With temperatures plunging below zero on a fairly routine basis and ice and snow piling up, staying warm is a must for reasons of both health and safety.
But where winter can get frustrating is when the heat you need to stay warm and productive ends up causing you health problems. One common health issue that crops up each winter is cold and flu season. Asthma incidents often increase during the dry winter season as well.
How can you have your heat and still stay healthy too? That is exactly what we are going to talk about in this post!
What Makes Winter Indoor Heat Unhealthy?
There is no doubt that staying warm during the winter can be a good health strategy overall. CBC News reported on the dangers of exposure to cold, stating that cold weather is responsible for 20 times more fatalities than hot weather!
But even though heat can be life-saving, literally, there is also a downside to all that dry air, both indoors and outdoors. Without enough humidity, it can dry out your respiratory tissues as well as the protective mucus your immune system makes to capture invading germs.
Without sufficient mucus to catch and neutralize airborne cold and flu germs you breathe in, those germs can go right to work making you sick!
Another winter health threat comes from your air duct system itself. If you are like most homeowners, you probably inherited your air duct system along with your house when you bought it. And unless your home is a brand-new construction or you’ve had them done, you may not even know if your ducts have ever been vacuumed out and sanitized.
Over time, your air ducts can become clogged with all kinds of matter, including bacteria, fungi, mould, mildew, pet dander, dust, insect detritus, airborne toxins from cleaning and air freshening products, and more.
When your furnace is working overtime to push out warm air to keep your cozy, the risk of pushing out some of that trapped matter increases.
Together, the very dryness of winter air plus the many airborne irritants it carries can quickly create a health hazard in the form of winter colds, flu, asthma attacks, chronic allergies, respiratory infection, pneumonia and worse.
How to Keep Your Heated Air Supply Healthy
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we recommend the following three-step approach to keep your indoor air at home or at work clean, humidity-balanced, and pure:
- Have your air duct system cleaned to remove trapped germs, allergens, toxins, and irritants.
- Add back moisture to keep the indoor humidity balance between 30 and 50 percent year-round.
- Install a filtration or purification system to remove or neutralize airborne irritants.
So let’s look at each component to see how it works.
Professional Indoor Air Duct Cleaning
If you are using a ducted furnace system, one of the best approaches is simply to schedule a professional indoor air duct cleaning.
During the cleaning, which will take less than a day to complete, your entire indoor air duct system will be vacuumed out using a powerful enclosed vacuum that sucks all the detritus out of your air ducts and transports it securely out of your space.
After your air ducts have been fully cleaned, they will be deodorized and sanitized. In effect, this deep cleaning leaves you with a squeaky clean, like-new air duct system, plus all the fresh, clean, pure air you can breathe!
Whole Home Humidification
Unfortunately, just cleaning out and sanitizing your air duct system won’t take care of the problem of winter air’s dryness. This is caused by an overall lack of moisture, or humidity.
To add back humidity to your indoor air, you need a humidifier. There are two kinds of humidifiers: a whole-home humidifier and a portable humidifier. A whole-home humidifier can work with your existing HVAC system to maintain an even level of humidity throughout your home, with the goal being to stay between 30 and 50 percent year-round.
Air Filtration or Purification
Now that you have had your indoor air ducts cleaned and you have added humidity back to the dry indoor air, there is just one final step left to complete.
This step will ensure your clean and pure, humidity-balanced indoor air stays clean and pure. In other words, you can’t prevent additional germs or toxins from entering your space in the future, so what can you do to make sure that, once inside, they can’t harm you?
For this job, you can choose one of two approaches: an indoor air filtration system or an indoor air purification system.
A filtration system traps floating particulate matter to keep it from ever entering your air ducts and getting pushed out into the rooms of your home or office. You can add a whole-home HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration device to your HVAC system or use portable HEPA filter units if you don’t have a ducted system.
A purification system uses ultraviolet light to neutralize the particulate matter. You can add a whole-home U.V. purification system to your HVAC system or use portable purifier units for non-ducted homes or workplaces.
Give Us a Call
It is true that winter tends to be a time of year associated with colds, the flu and other discomforts. But with the indoor air quality technology available today, there are plenty of ways to keep other people’s germs from affecting your family’s health!
To learn more and reserve your discount, contact us online, or give us a call at 905-544-2470.