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Elliott-McElwee, Inc. Blog

Is Air Pollution Worse in Summer or Winter?

People are more concerned about the air they breathe in their homes than ever before. And they have good reasons to be concerned. Poor air quality is a major source of health problems in the country. Air pollution causes approximately 4.2 million premature deaths every year and can lead to heart problems, lung cancer, asthma. It affects people of all ages, with a heightened impact on children and the elderly.

We’ve often had people ask us if there are differences in air pollution based on the seasons. Is the summer heat a worse time for pollution, or is it winter cold? We can answer this question, but there’s a larger truth we want to get to as well. Follow along as we explore this question and air pollution in general.

Summer Air Pollution

During the heat of summer, we rely on air conditioning and our electrical usage increases. This leads to higher energy consumption, primarily of fossil fuels. Higher temperatures also create specific atmospheric conditions that will worsen smog because they boost the formation of ground-level ozone. Summer is also a season with a higher number of fires, which create some of the most harmful air quality conditions possible. 

Winter Air Pollution

The situation with air pollution changes in lower temperatures. Now homes and businesses rely more on heating systems, and the most common heating systems burn fossil fuels. This includes burning fire in fireplaces. Because people are much less likely to open their windows for ventilation during winter, more polluted air gets trapped indoors.

There are winter atmospheric conditions that trap pollutants closer to the ground and create a stagnant and polluted atmosphere. Warm air rises and cold air sinks, and thermal inversions during winter trap the colder and more pollutant-filled air closer to the ground. The air in winter is drier, and dry air also holds the particles of air pollution better. Dry air lowers the chance of rain, which is helpful in cleansing the air of pollutants. 

Winter Is Worse, However…

Studies have shown that winter air pollution is more severe because of the increased use of heating systems and the thermal inversions that trap polluted air low to the ground. 

But this data can be deceptive. While winter air pollution may be statistically worse, it doesn’t mean that the summer is clear and easy breathing all the time. Unfortunately, because so many homes are well-insulated against the outside, they trap pollutants indoors all around the year. Summer has its own challenges for healthy air, as do spring and fall. There’s no season when you can expect to escape from the potential for harmful air inside your house.

The Importance of Air Purification Systems.

In the face of the year-round challenges to air quality, we recommend you to active steps to protect your home’s air. One of the best solutions is an air purifier installation in Galloway, NJ. Air purification systems effectively remove pollutants for cleaner and healthier indoor air all year. You enjoy benefits ranging from better respiratory health to a lessening of the spread of illnesses

Finding the right air purifier and air filters for your home is a job you can trust to our team. We’ll see that you have the indoor air quality solution that works for you.

At Elliott-McElwee, Inc., your comfort is our business. Call us today for indoor air quality services that make a difference in all four seasons.

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