As the temperatures continue to drop, fall brings about its own issues regarding indoor air quality. It doesn’t help either that people are going to want to spend more time indoors and out of the uncomfortable cold. But why does air quality get so bad in the fall? Well, this season, Sirena Inc. is highlighting some of the hidden reasons as to why health often takes such a dip in the colder seasons.
Why Air Quality Worsens in the Fall
Pollutants Pile Up
A well-spoken rule of physics is that hot air rises and cool air sinks. When translated to indoor air pollution, this becomes a huge issue regarding the accumulation of pollutants, according to Sirena Inc.
During the spring and summer, the lighter, warmer air carries pollutants up and away into the atmosphere, allowing them to dissipate and diffuse. However, the cold air of the winter and fall months is far denser, clinging close to the ground and keeping pollutants at ground-level with it.
The result is a higher concentration of pollutants that can drastically impact health and quality of life. With air purifiers being at ground level, however, this places them in the perfect position to scrub the low hanging pollutants from the air. Just make sure you’re getting an air purifier and not an air ionizer.
It’s a Playground for Common Viruses
Ever wonder why winter is always considered flu season when the influenza virus floats around all throughout the year? Well, the drier air often found during the fall and winter are to blame. Viruses such as the common cold and the novel coronavirus transmit a lot easier in drier conditions (<55% humidity). Rhinoviruses, too.
While humidity isn’t the only factor is these seasonal outbreaks, it is certainly an important one that researchers say should be considered during the flu season. This means that one of the most effective ways to help reduce the likelihood of infection is simply investing in humidifier systems.
Dust Mite Activity Ramps Up
Much like the aforementioned viruses, dust mites really kick into high gear during fall and winter, triggering asthma and allergy symptoms for many stuck indoors. From runny noses, to difficulty breathing, these invisible pests, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America are some of the worst offenders.
However, the simplest way to prevent the infestation of dust mites often comes in the form of just having a proper cleaning routine can reduce the population of these pests. A special emphasis should be given to any type of fabric or upholstery in the home. Additionally, HEPA filters do a fantastic job at trapping them as well.
Home Ventilation Plummets
The concentration of indoor air pollutants has been on the rise in recent decades according to the EPA, mostly due to the many products used in homes, from furniture to cleaning products. During the summer and spring, open doors and windows means plenty of ventilation for homes. In the fall and winter, however, these aerial avenues become shut tight.
Even one of the elements that helps keeps homes warm in the winter, insulation, traps air inside the home. To cut back on the number of pollutants, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record by this point, air purifiers do a tremendous job at keeping the air clean, however, properly equipped HVAC systems can do that as well, while also circulating fresh air throughout a space.
However, choosing to use materials in decoration and design that are known for low-VOC counts and off-gas rates are another great way to reduce the number of pollutants that make their way into the home.