Believe it or not, cold temperatures can lead to worsened air quality in your home. You might notice the pollution from car exhaust and factories more in the winter, but pollution from those is constant throughout the year. So why is it that indoor air quality feels much poorer in the winter? Here’s a brief glimpse at the factors behind it.
Increased Indoor Pollution
If you live in a cold climate, where weather typically drops below freezing for most of the season, this can lead to an uptick in car emissions. Nobody wants to sit in a cold car, so it’s common to let cars idle in the garage or driveway before leaving.
Creating warmth indoors can also lead to an increase in pollution. Furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, etc, work vigilantly to keep everyone in the house comfortable. Energy production also skyrockets for larger facilities during the winter.
More Time Spent Indoors
As the weather can often be too harsh, many of us find ourselves indoors for most of the day during the winter. This can increase carbon dioxide levels indoors, as well as making us more susceptible to poorly ventilated spaces.
Some homeowners will add extra layers of insulation to their home to combat the cold, such as tighter seals on doors and windows. Because of this, there is less transfer of fresh air. A great way to combat this without needing to open your doors and windows is by installing air purifiers for home ventilation systems.
Temperature Inversion May Be A Significant Concern
When the weather gets so cold, it traps pollutants near the ground. This is known as a temperature inversion. This occurs when a layer of warm air sits right above the cold air on the surface. This acts like a “cap” that can trap the allergens and pollutants. This is common in areas where wood-burning occurs. Ever notices the burning smell in your neighborhood during the winter? This could be due to temperature inversion.
Weather inversion can be temporary, or it can last for long periods. Unless there are frequent weather events, such as a snowstorm, rain, or strong wind, the pollutants can linger for much of the season.