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How to Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality During the Winter


In Austin, the winter months are usually mild, but as temperatures drop, it’s common to close windows and crank up the heating in your Central Texas home. This creates a warm and cozy environment, but it’s important to consider the impact it has on your indoor air quality. While a well-sealed home efficiently keeps out the cold, it can also trap pollutants inside your home, like dust mites and pet dander.

At The HVAC Cowboys, we’ve been dedicated to enhancing home comfort in Lakeway, Spicewood, and Austin for nearly a decade. We understand the importance of maintaining healthy indoor air quality during winter, and we’re here to share expert tips on how to achieve this.

Main Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality During the Winter

Maintaining good indoor air quality during the winter, especially in areas like Spicewood, Lakeway, and Austin in Texas, is essential for comfort and health. Here are the primary causes of poor indoor air quality during this season:

Reduced Ventilation: In winter, people tend to keep windows and doors closed to conserve heat. This reduced ventilation can lead to a buildup of indoor air pollutants.

Heating Systems: Furnaces, fireplaces, and other heating systems can release pollutants like carbon monoxide and particulate matter into the home.

Increased Humidity Levels: The use of humidifiers to combat dry winter air can sometimes lead to excessive humidity indoors. This can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, which are detrimental to air quality.

Indoor Activities: Increased indoor activities, such as cooking and using cleaning products, can contribute to higher levels of indoor air pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Dust and Allergens: In winter, dust, pet dander, and other allergens can become trapped inside, especially in HVAC systems, and circulate through the home. This is especially true during Austin’s infamous “cedar season” from December through February. When cedar pollen invades a home, just about everyone can feel it. 

Poorly Maintained HVAC Systems: HVAC systems that are not regularly serviced can circulate dust, mold, and other pollutants throughout the home.

Outdoor Air Pollution: In some areas, outdoor air pollution can worsen in winter and can infiltrate indoor spaces, contributing to poor indoor air quality.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

A fundamental step in improving air quality is regular home cleaning. Frequent vacuuming, mopping, and dusting not only keep your home looking great, but they also play a crucial role in maintaining your health, particularly for those with asthma or other respiratory issues. 

Remember, indoor air quality isn’t always visible, yet it significantly impacts your well-being.

People spend the majority of their time indoors during the winter, yet many overlook the importance of regular cleaning in their homes and workplaces. Keeping a clean home through regular vacuuming, mopping, and dusting is a straightforward yet effective strategy.

The Role of Your HVAC System

Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is central to maintaining indoor air quality. Regular maintenance of your furnace and air conditioning, including the ductwork, ensures efficient air distribution. We recommend scheduling routine tune-ups for cleaning and inspection of your HVAC system components. 

Check out our HVAC maintenance program to make regular check-ups hassle-free. Contact us today so we can examine your home’s HVAC system and bring your system back up to higher standards. 

Indoor Air Quality Products

For advanced indoor air quality solutions, we recommend installing a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). These systems exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without losing indoor heat. An ERV goes a step further by also maintaining optimal indoor humidity levels, particularly beneficial if your home feels overly dry in winter. Our experts can advise on the best system for your home.

Additionally, The HVAC Cowboys can recommend air purifiers and cleaners that provide an extra level of filtration to your system to remove mold, pollen, bacteria, and other matter that can diminish your indoor air quality. 

Contact The HVAC Cowboys for a Free Indoor Air Quality Test to determine which pollutants and compounds are affecting your indoor air quality and which types of systems you can use to produce cleaner, fresher air. 

Change Your Air Filters

Regularly changing your air filters is essential for optimal HVAC performance. Clogged filters can strain your system, reduce efficiency, increase energy costs, and allow trapped particles to circulate in your home. We recommend changing your air filters every month during heavy use. 

Trust Your Indoor Air Quality Experts

At The HVAC Cowboys, we’re committed to ensuring you enjoy fresh, allergen-free air in your home. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to provide practical solutions to improve your home comfort system and indoor air quality. Contact us to learn more about maintaining healthy indoor air during winter.