When most people think of “air quality,” they think of the outdoors; the smog, haze, even pollen. What many people don’t realize is that factors inside the home can also lead to poor air quality, causing potentially serious health risks.
Indoor air quality tends to become more of an issue when the temperature drops, and here is why.
According to Alisha Hopkins, a certified nurse practitioner, What it really comes down to, is the simple fact that when it gets colder outside, people tend to stay in their homes for longer periods at a time.
That means more exposure to all the particles, molds and bacteria inside the home.
“Your home is your safe harbor and then all of a sudden, now, it’s this area of just triggers everywhere,” Hopkins said. “So no matter where you go there’s a trigger. …We always think of the outside but we forget that our home is one of the places that we literally lay our heads down, we relax in, and if you’re relaxing in a bunch of dirt, relaxing in pet dander, the fur, that too will make our breathing that much worse.
One woman says she notices a difference in her breathing as soon as the holiday decorations come out.
“I just start to get the stuffy nose, the watery eyes and then my asthma really kicks up,” said Cindy Groeniger, member of the American Lung Association.
Groeniger has suffered from asthma since she was just 10 months old, she said. “Every fall season it’s bad because I decorate and then you have, you know, mold or dust maybe on your decorations so I have to watch that,” Groeniger said. “Sometimes I have to increase my medicine for the holidays.”
Fall is also a good time to make sure that furnaces are carbon monoxide-free, Hopkins said that. Double check carbon monoxide detectors in the home to make sure they are working properly.