Why Ventilation Is Important for Winter Air Quality

The harsh cold of winter holds a strong influence over us every year, and we often try our hardest to keep our homes warm and as free from draughts as possible.

Unfortunately, people often overlook the importance of ventilation during the winter months. Winter air can be of poorer quality, and without proper regulation you can find yourself suffering for keeping those windows constantly closed. In this article, we’re looking at the use of proper ventilation in the winter, and just how this season can drastically affect indoor air quality.

Why air quality reduces in the winter

Typically, when we start to feel the cold winter temperatures close in, our first course of action is to turn the heating up and close off all doors, windows or any other potential draught sources. This usually brings us some much-needed comfort, but it also seals off the home from any fresh air. This can lead to a more unhealthy indoor environment, as air stagnates and pollutants, allergens and contaminants have a way to escape.

While a sealed environment helps to conserve energy, it also raises the concentration of contaminants generated in the home, and this is the main cause of unhealthy air conditions we see during the winter.

Air contaminants

We produce many air contaminants in our day-to-day activities, and without ventilation we will be much more sensitive to these in the winter. Some common household contaminants are:

    • Mould and mildew: caused by a lack of ventilation for moisture, leading to condensation buildup which causes mould. With windows shut and no other ventilation methods, mould will be commonly generated via moisture from the kitchen and bathroom, for example.
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): There are many sources of these chemical vapours in the home, and exposure to them can cause nasty irritations as well as respiratory problems and allergic reactions. VOCs can be generated through air fresheners, cleaning products, adhesives, beauty and care products and more. These will quickly reduce the air quality of any unventilated indoor space, creating a severe health risk.

 

  • Germs and bacteria: Germs, viruses and bacteria are unavoidable in the home, with high concentrations present in kitchens. Not only does poor ventilation mean these indoor air contaminants cannot escape from your home, warmer indoor temperatures where the air is naturally dryer will encourage germs to grow and spread. Winter illnesses are common, and poor ventilation might be playing a large role in their presence.
  • By-products of combustion: These can be many, and vary depending on the source of combustion. Burning oil, kerosene, gas, wood or coal in the home requires effective ventilation to prevent dangerous pollutants from posing a dangerous health risk to the occupants of your home. The worst of these pollutants is carbon monoxide, which in high concentration can be fatal. Ventilation and regulation of the air for combustion appliances is critical at all times, but especially when the home is more airtight in the winter, and you might be relying on extra heating methods more than usual.

 

What else can be done to keep indoor air clean?

Installing a professional ventilation system in your home will vastly improve your indoor air quality, preventing stagnation and keeping pollutants from constantly damaging your health over the holidays.

Along with ventilation, however, you should implement some simple measures to help keep the general air quality as clean as possible in the first place. Dedicate some time in your routine to regularly clean your home, focusing on some of the more aggressive sources of pollutants, such as the kitchen. Regular dusting and cleaning of countertops will eliminate many contaminants, and switching to less toxic cleaning products will also be a big help.

Regular maintenance of fuel-burning appliances is also important. Clean them and have them inspected, and repaired if necessary, to make sure they are working efficiently  and aren’t at risk of exposing your home to high levels of dangerous pollutants.

Professional ventilation installation

To keep the air clean this winter, without putting up with constant draughts from open windows and doors, look for professional advice to find the most effective ventilation system for your property. Experienced and qualified installers will ensure that your ventilation system will do the job without any fuss, while operating as safely and efficiently as possible.

FM Mechanical Ltd supply and install ventilation systems to domestic and commercial clients throughout the Yorkshire region and beyond. Our fully qualified engineers bring their experience and knowledge to you, and will provide swift and safe installation of your ventilation system to keep the air in your home fresh and clean. To find out more about all of our services, dont hesitate to get in touch with us today.