I heard an interesting phrase this morning on the radio: “We are expecting a cold front to move in tomorrow, and things should warm up into the 40’s.” I found that ironic; normally a cold front means things are going to get colder. Welcome to a Treasure Valley inversion!
Inversions are created by cold air being trapped underneath warmer air. The effects of this “inverting” of temperatures on the inhabitants of the valley vary, but include things like smog building up in the air, air pollution going up, bitterly cold weather in the valley, and, often snow or freezing rain in the valley. Head up to Bogus, though, and you’ll see clear skies and warm weather.
When inversions happen here, it’s important, especially if you have respiratory problems, to keep the interior air as clean as possible. Changing your air filters (or washing them if you have one of our permanent air filters), dusting, and vacuuming the carpet and furniture can all help get rid of pollutants and irritants in the air.
Using a HEPA rated or better air purifier can help as well. Purifiers are different from filters because filters only remove some of the particulate matter from the air, where as a purifier can actually clean the air, killing harmful microbes, eliminating toxic VOC.s and other substances from the air. There are several types of purifiers, ranging from small, one room deals to in-duct whole house systems. Sometimes they are even used in conjunction with filtration systems already built into your HVAC.
Be sure your air purifier is tested to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds, and can destroy VOC’s. Electrostatic systems as well as UV lights, and PCO (photocatalytic) boards can all help to clean your air out. Good particulate filters (if you use paper, make sure they’re pleated) or good electrostatic filters can not only help keep dust from damaging your forced air unit, but can help keep dust out of the air.
We have found that the Air Gorilla and the CleanStation, both available to our customers from our website or from our technicians, are some of the best systems to take care of that bad indoor air that is so prevalent during these rough winter months.
Have a great holiday season!