With summer here, while you and your family may be spending less time indoors, indoor air quality should still be something you think about, as it can impact your entire household’s health. What’s in your home’s air can vary by the home, its occupants, and the seasons. Is indoor air quality worse in the summer?
What is Indoor Air Quality and Why Does it Matter?
Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants (EPA). Poor indoor air quality has been linked to continued sickness, reduced productivity, and impaired learning and thought processes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates poor indoor air quality as an area of major concern, noting that common contaminants, endlessly redistributed by a central air system, can contribute to allergy symptoms and sickness.
Your home’s indoor air quality is important, because it can directly impact the health and well-being of the people who are in your home. There can be short-term and long-term effects. Immediate effects typically are similar to those of colds and other viral infections, while some long-term effects may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and more.
Is Indoor Air Quality Worse in the Summer?
The EPA advises that, “Most people in the United States spend about 90% of their time indoors. The air we breathe indoors, and ultimately our health, can be impacted by many factors, including the air quality outdoors, people’s activities indoors, and the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building”. While the summer may mark a time of the year that you are outside more, indoor air quality still plays a major role on your family’s health and well-being.
As heat and humidity set in, indoor air quality can be impacted. Is indoor air quality worse in the summer? In most home’s the answer is, “No”. Winter is usually the worst season for indoor air quality, but that doesn’t mean that summer just gets a free pass.
Summers are filled with many things outdoors that can directly impact the air that is indoors. Things like fireworks, bonfires, forest fires, increased travel, open windows, use of central air conditioning, and more can affect the air that you breathe while inside your Marin, Napa, or Sonoma County home.
When it’s hot outdoors, while your North Bay Area cooling system will try to keep up, the heat and humidity can creep inside and into your system. Increased indoor dampness and humidity can lead to increases in mold, dust mites, bacteria, and other biological contaminants indoors. Extreme weather events can also create conditions that support increases in the spread of pests and infectious agents that can make their way indoors (EPA).
Tips for Better Summer Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality may not be worse in the summer than the colder and drier months of the year, but it is still something you should pay close attention to for you and your family’s health and comfort. There are some things you can do to try and improve your home’s air quality in the warmer months of the year.
- Change Your Air Filters Regularly
- Open Windows Daily. Do Not Open Windows if Smoke is in the Air or Other Obvious Outdoor Contaminants
- Don’t Smoke Indoors
- Frequently Dust and Vacuum
- Maintain a Recommended Humidity Level
- Limit Synthetic Fragrances
- Add Plants
- Invest in a Whole House Electronic Air Cleaner
If you want to ensure that the air you and are family are breathing every day is safe, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We can assess your current IAQ situation by performing a fast and easy air quality test that measures the level of particulate concentration in your air. We will then make recommendations based on our findings.
Let our comfort specialists help you breathe in clean indoor air. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.