Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

While it may feel cozy to be sealed tight against the outside air in a home during the colder months but, for those who are more sensitive to various indoor allergens or those with respiratory issues, winter can make issues worse. Heating systems and indoor air that is stale can increase the total amount of allergy-inducing pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites throughout the house.

In the latter part of the winter and early spring, it may be too cold to open all the windows to get rid of the musty air. While homeowners are waiting for warmer weather to come, they should be aware of some of the respiratory and allergy triggers that may be lurking in their surroundings.

Most of the issues that cause these problems are odorless. So, in many situations, there is nothing to alert homeowners to the problem. There is nothing besides the symptoms that the allergens may trigger, like respiratory problems, sleepiness, fatigue, and digestive issues.

Improving The Quality of Air Inside

Taking efforts to improve Indoor Air Quality can help a homeowner avoid allergy symptoms and asthma flare-ups while keeping them breathing easy during the colder months of the year. While eliminating all allergens inside the home may not be a possibility, it is possible to reduce the total number and a person’s overall exposure to them. This can be done by making a few simple changes. Some strategies that will help improve indoor air quality in any Lake Geneva, WI, home can be found below.

Keep Things Clean

A clean house is a healthier house. This is because good indoor hygiene will help to reduce the amount of animal dander and dust in the air. A homeowner’s cleaning efforts should focus on various strategies that will reduce the total accumulation of dust, mold, pet dander, and more that are lurking in the home.

It is a good idea to focus on vacuuming area rugs and carpets at least one or two times a week with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter. It is also smart to install hard-surface flooring rather than wall-to-wall carpeting, which can also reduce allergens in the home.

It is a good idea to clean drapes, bedding, and other items that attract allergens, too, especially if there are pets in the house. It is best to wash these items in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Cleaning clutter is also beneficial because it can trap and hold dust that will trigger a reaction.

UVC Energy

With the right intensity, UVC energy is able to kill any kind of bacteria or virus.  We presently don’t know specifically the UVC dose necessary to kill this new Novel Coronavirus, yet viruses are some of the easiest micro-organisms to kill.  Testing will have to be done to determine this kill rate, yet UVC will also disrupt its DNA sterilizing it rendering the virus harmless at even at lower UVC dosages. The amount of UVC intensity, measured in microwatts, necessary to kill viruses varies from virus to virus.

Here are a few examples, measured in Microwatt Seconds per Square Centimeter, of the number of microwatts it would take to “kill” certain viruses:

Adeno Virus Type III 3 – 4,500 microwatts to kill

Bacteriophage – 6,600 microwatts to kill

Influenza – 6,600 microwatts to kill

Infectious Hepatitis – 8,000 microwatts to kill

As you can see, some are easier to kill than others, but all are killed by UVC.  Sterilization of most viruses and bacteria will occur at the 1000 microwatt range.

Keep Greenery Outside

While indoor plants are pretty, they may also collect and foster mold growth. If indoor allergens are an issue, it is best to avoid these plants. While there are some plants that can help improve a home’s indoor air quality due to the fact that the plants release oxygen. While this is true, there are plants that are still considered allergy triggers for some people.

Change Air Filters

In homes with forced-air heating systems, change the filters regularly. Electrostatic filters will help ensure dust and other airborne irritants are trapped rather than being recirculated through the home. It’s also a good idea to think about having the ducts cleaned to remove any trapped dust. This isn’t always advisable, but it is helpful in some situations.

Invest in an Air Purifier

If a person is allergic to indoor allergens and they can’t control the source of the issue, for example, they don’t want to give up their family pet, it may be beneficial to use an air purifier. Put in commonly used areas of the home, these devices – especially ionic purifiers – will help to capture some of the irritants that trigger allergy symptoms. Chances are these allergens can’t be removed completely, but it is possible to reduce them, which can help the issue.

It’s also a good idea to use a dehumidifier in damper areas, like basements, to prevent mold growth. Make sure bathrooms, which are another possible source of mold, are properly ventilated, too. Remove any visible mold that may collect in the shower, on fixtures, or on the walls. Another option is using UVC Lamps.

Let Fresh Air In

Even in the colder months of fall and winter, it is a good idea to open the windows from time to time to let fresh air come into the house. Also, try to eliminate any potential air contaminants by using a fan in the kitchen to remove cooking fumes.

Being informed is the best way to take advantage of good quality air. In addition to standard daily hygiene practices suggested by the CDC, be proactive by adding our high-output UVC lamp to your HVAC system to purify the air, which will help improve overall indoor air quality and will reduce the likelihood of contracting any viruses. Although we can’t guarantee that someone will not become infected by a virus, a properly designed and installed UVC lamp, with enough microwatt intensity, will destroy airborne viruses that pass through the HVAC system, including the Coronavirus. Being informed and knowing how to improve indoor air quality are the best ways to reduce issues.