Air Quality Vs Cold Weather: How is it affected?

Air quality plays a significant role in our well-being. When we breathe, pollution enters our lungs and can enter our bloodstream.

Air pollution can contribute to minor annoyances like coughing or itchy eyes. It can also cause or worsen many lungs and breathing diseases, leading to hospitalizations or worse.

No matter where you live, you can be exposed to air pollution. The type and amount of exposure vary depending on your location, the time of day, and even the weather.

Exposure to air pollution is higher near pollution sources like busy roadways or wood-burning equipment. Many of our daily activities expose us to higher levels of air pollution. Idling cars, gas-fueled yard equipment, and chemicals we use in our homes all contribute to overall air pollution and expose us to harmful air pollutants.

Going back to how the quality of the air we breathe being affected by the weather. Let’s take a look at how the cold weather affects air quality.

The Effects of Cold Air: 

Usually, warm air sits near the ground, and air rises quickly, carrying away and dispersing polluting substances. During a decrease in temperatures, cold air is trapped near the ground by warm air up to several hundred meters above it.

The warm air acts like a lid, and polluting substances can’t rise and disperse as readily. This often leads to increased air quality ratings.

One of the more exciting air pollution facts is that rain can eliminate a large part of it. The rain acts like water does and washes the air itself.

However, this is less likely to occur in many areas during winter because precipitation levels are lower. Without this cleansing effect, the air doesn’t shed its pollution and instead remains contaminated.

This prevents the natural cycle that removes dust from the air and prevents more from entering the atmosphere. If you look at air pollution in summer vs winter, you see that cool, dry air holds more pollution.

This causes more irritation and breathing difficulty than in summer when the air is more ‘mobile’.

Overlooked Causes: 

Another element that makes winter air more polluted is the way we behave during winter. It is more common for people to leave cars on and idle in the winter than in the summer.

This is done to defrost a car or to wait for the heater to begin working. You can rest assured that the lower the temperature drops, the more pollution we will be pumping out into it.

The big reason for this is that energy demands go up in the winter, more electricity and gas is burned for heat. These habits are also contributing factors as to why indoor air is not as clean during the winter.

When you stay in the home for an extended time, pollution can build up. Mould can also be a problem during the winter when moisture does gather; the warm temperature from our homes can help it grow.

Indoor Air in Winter:

While we try to avoid the cold and bad air outside, we might also face challenges with the air we breathe indoors.

Most people spend their winter days inside but breathing indoor air can be dirtier than in smoggy cities. Chemicals, bacteria, mould, and mildew particles can contaminate indoor air and make inhaling it bad for your health.

Indoor air pollution aggravates respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies and chronic lung diseases. But dirty air has even been linked to health problems like heart disease and stroke.

What can you do? 

There are a lot of different factors that contribute to making air pollution better or worse. Even high- and low-pressure systems have an impact on the air that we breathe.

People can reduce their impact on air quality by not idling vehicles when parked, avoiding excessive fireplace or woodstove use, and using energy-efficient products.

Or invest in Air Purification solutions.

At LightRay, we are in the business of healthy air, and by removing all known contaminants from the indoor space, we are giving you back the certainty of a safe and joyful living experience.

We offer a mix of electronics, robotics, UV light, plasma, bio-ionization and air handling technologies to create a unique, symbiotically integrated solution in the market space.

Reach out to us to find out more about how you can keep your indoor air clean:

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