Why stale indoor air poses problems in winter

In winter, the quality of air inside your home can become compromised, when closed windows keeping out the cold lead to stale, dry air that can result in sore throats, flyaway hair and static buildup when you walk across a carpet.

Excessively dry air is particularly noticeable in newer homes today that are constructed to be airtight with improved insulation and weatherstripping, says Frank Cullen of Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning in Oshawa.

Airborne viruses and other bacteria and mold spores can grow inside a home’s ductwork and air conditioning system coils, circulating through the stale air.

“You get a sore throat, for one thing,” says Mr. Cullen of the effect stagnant household air can have on people in winter. “It can take all the moisture out of your hardwood, too.”

Bringing fresh air inside during winter and improving the quality of air is a specialty of Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning, which can rectify the problems with installation of a humidifier, HRV system and ultraviolet lights.

Adding a humidifier to your heating system is relatively inexpensive and can be done within a few hours. Adding needed moisture to your household air in winter can help with issues such as dry skin, sinus congestion, and indoor static buildup. It can also protect wood furniture from drying out.

“Your home will feel warmer and more comfortable at a lower temperature,” adds Mr. Cullen. “Dry air feels colder, and by adding moisture, you’ll be more comfortable at a lower thermostat setting. In winter, when you heat the air, in most homes dryness is a big problem.”

To cut out 99.9 per cent of mould spores and airborne bacteria that can be distributed by your ductwork, install ultraviolet lights on your heating system. The low maintenance ultraviolet needs a new bulb only once every 9,000 hours, or 12 months. It kills mould, viruses and other bacteria that can grow in heating and cooling coils, and can cut down on indoor odors, promoting a healthier indoor environment. “Mould is a problem in homes today,” notes Mr. Cullen.

To bring fresh air inside during winter without letting in the cold, Mr. Cullen recommends a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system be added to your furnace. Installed by the expert Cullen crews within a day, the HRV will exchange stale indoor air for fresh air, and warm the fresh air before bringing it inside.

Newer homes are constructed to be airtight, and can particularly benefit from the HRV system, he says. “The tighter your home is, the less air you get coming in.”

The HRV system will provide ventilation with minimum loss of heat, which could put stress on a home’s heating and cooling systems.

Serving Durham Region homeowners since 1985 with top customer reviews, Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning has built 80 per cent of its business on referrals from satisfied customers. Call Cullen for an estimate on air quality equipment properly sized for your home.

Cullen Heating & Air Conditioning provides a full range of residential services for your home comfort, including furnace installation, custom ductwork, supply and installation of water heaters, and heat pumps.

Call Cullen Heating & Air Conditioning at 905-725-9731, or schedule an appointment online.

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