Shockingly, statistics indicate that more people die from air pollution-related illnesses than from road traffic accidents globally. However, if you look at the levels of pollution, you might start getting an idea of why that is so. For instance, 100 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year. This is about two tons per home via AC units. Here’s what you need to know about air quality before winter hits.
What’s the Link Between Winter and Air Quality?
What most people are not aware of is that there’s a massive drop in air quality during winter. While this might not be true for every city and region in the world, generally, it fits the trend. There are several reasons why air quality drops in winter, and if you understand the links between the cold season and air quality, you might be more prepared.
Winter and Increased Air Pollution
There are several reasons why there is more air pollution in winter, which leads to decreased air quality. Most of the culprits when it comes to poor air quality in winter are hydrocarbons and dust. Hydrocarbons come from industrial processes and vehicle exhaust. On the other hand, dust comes from travel, traffic, and general movement. This is what creates smog.
It’s important to understand how these two elements of air pollution can be worsened in winter. From basic science, cold air drops and warm air rises. It, therefore, follows that when cold air traps pollution, instead of rising and whisking it away, it remains in the atmosphere for longer and is breathed in at a higher rate than during the summer.
Winter Habits and Energy
People’s behavior also makes winter air more polluted. For instance, during the colder months, it’s most common to see people leaving their cars on and idling. This will cause more polluted air to be pumped into the atmosphere. Apart from that, energy demands rise in winter. All of this contributes to why winter air is more polluted.
While most of what happens to the air quality in winter is out of your control, you can take some steps to improve your indoor air quality and minimize exposing yourself to bad outdoor air. It’s important during the cold season to also monitor the Air Quality Index and avoid spending too much time outdoors when there is poor air quality. Apart from that, you should avoid opening windows when smog is high. To learn more about how you can improve air quality in your home any time of year, contact Wilson Heating and Air Conditioning today.