Keeping your home cool during a heatwave requires running your air conditioner constantly. Even if your air is cool, its quality could be poor. During times of extreme heat, indoor air quality can worsen. From airborne chemicals to mold, there are many contaminants that you’ll want to keep out of your home that hot conditions can exaggerate.
4 Common Effects of Extreme Heat
Extreme heat impacts your indoor air quality in more ways than one.
1. More Pollution and Dust Particles
If the outside temperature is higher than normal, wind or rain is less likely. Typically, these weather conditions effectively stop pollutants from accumulating in one area. When pollutants remain in place, there’s a higher chance that they’ll get into your home. If your air conditioning unit isn’t properly filtering out these pollutants, your indoor air quality can worsen.
During extreme heat conditions, dust storms and wildfires are more prevalent. When a wildfire or dust storm occurs, dust and smoke enter the surrounding air and adversely affect indoor air quality.
2. Higher Pollen Count
Seasonal exposure to various types of pollen can worsen allergies and exacerbate other respiratory conditions. Since high heat increases the level of pollen in the air, it’s more likely that you’ll encounter symptoms like itching, nasal congestion, and sneezing.
3. High Risk of Mold
When the outdoor temperatures are hot, the temperature in your home also rises. During times of extreme heat, storms can be more severe. If the conditions surrounding your home are hot and humid, mold growth is also more likely. The presence of mold in your home increases the possibility of respiratory issues and property damage.
Along with tiny mold spores, bacteria, and dust mites are more prevalent when mold is around. If you don’t remove the mold immediately, an increase in indoor air contaminant levels is likely to occur.
4. More Airborne Chemicals
Airborne chemicals include the many odors and gases that are produced from everyday items. A wide range of short-term and long-term health issues may develop when airborne chemical concentrations are high. If outdoor temperatures are on the rise, the release rate for airborne chemicals is faster.
Maintaining Indoor Air Quality During Extreme Heat
If you notice that your indoor air quality is bad, there are a few things you can do to remedy this issue.
Keep Windows Closed
First, it’s highly recommended that you keep your windows closed during the day. Doing so will keep heat out of your home and reduce the level of pollutants in the air. To keep contaminants out, check the air quality forecast before opening your windows.
Seal Cracks or Leaks
If you notice any cracks or leaks in your home, these areas are spots where pollen and other contaminants can get in. Search your home often for any gaps. Once you detect these issues, you should close them tightly with weatherstripping or caulk. This will have the added benefit of keeping cool air from escaping your home.
Consider Air Purifier and Filter
You might want to consider an air purifier or filter to remove any contaminants that get inside your home. A filter with a MERV 13 rating can remove viruses, smoke, dust, mold, and pollen from your indoor air. Air purifiers use a process known as bipolar ionization to get rid of pollutants.
Use a Humidifier
If you’re experiencing extreme heat, consider placing a humidifier in your home. While there are several types of systems to consider, a whole-home humidifier adds moisture to every room. You’ll be able to keep dry skin at bay and reduce allergy symptoms. Depending on the outdoor conditions, a dehumidifier may also be necessary.
Knowing that you’re breathing clean and healthy air should give you peace of mind that you’re doing what you can to maintain your good health. If you’re unsure about the quality of your indoor air, our team at Coffman & Company will help you by testing it and improving the quality if necessary.
We’ll recommend filtration systems that will allow you to gain control of your indoor air quality. Some of the additional services we provide at Coffman & Company include HVAC repair, maintenance, and installation services. Call us today to learn more about our indoor air quality services and how your Arvada, CO home can benefit from them.