New Year, Old Pollutants: What Airborne Contaminants You Should Be Mindful Of According To Where You Live

With the year coming to a close, it’s easy to breathe the sigh of relief you just may have been holding in for the last several months.

Then again, with the winter season coming into full swing, you may want to instead divert your attention to the overall air quality experienced by your region. The best way to understand and manage your indoor air quality? With InstaScope: measurement technology to assess the air and inform the services to best purify it. After all, what you find outside will frequently find its way back in. And with January close on our heels, here is what you should be mindful of according to where in the nation you live:

The Southeast

Subject to nearly year-round humidity and moisture, those dwelling in the Southeastern states will likely find themselves combatting mold allergies — yes, even in January — among other weather and temperature-induced irritation. According to Harvard Health Publishing, this is because mold is apt to proliferate during more warm or mild months of the year. But once your home is tightly enclosed and insulated for the winter, the spores will become trapped in an air circulation cycle, making it more difficult to properly diffuse or ventilate them with your HVAC system.

Additionally, ragweed and grass allergies remain prominent at the beginning of the year, as ragweed first blooms in the fall months but may remain in the air through the winter. And as they become trapped in your clothes or hair, you will unwittingly drag them inside with you, placing them in the same circulation trap as the mold spores.

The Southwest

Where the Southeastern states are warm and humid, the Southwestern ones are typically quite dry and arid. Thus, especially when the environment dries out during the winter months and into the new year, dust and dirt may negatively impact the overall air quality in and around your home, triggering allergies and other respiratory irritation.

Woodsmoke from fireplaces or the presence of particle pollutants from wood-burning stoves or other heating devices may also exacerbate poor indoor air quality in homes with poor circulation, as reported by the American Lung Association (ALA). Thus, for the new year, we recommend installing an air purifier or HEPA filter to help cleanse the air of contamination, as well as switching heating devices for another cleaner, less hazardous product.

The Northeast

The Northeastern states may feature a colder, drier January climate than their southern counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they’re capable of completely evading the air quality obstacle that is the presence of mold. In fact, mold is more likely to go into hibernation in low temperatures, meaning it will be even more difficult to locate and expel in the winter.

Otherwise, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) reports that those residing in the Northeast may need to be mindful that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that build up in the summer months may lead to the proliferation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) in the winter months, negatively impacting both indoor and outdoor air quality across the region.

The Northwest

Similar to the Southeast, the states of the Pacific Northwest are exposed to a constantly wet climate, albeit it is typically cooler in nature than that of the south. That being said, moisture intrusion and mold growth are common factors throughout the region, rendering the residents vulnerable to airborne spores in their residential and commercial properties even in the midst of January.

Of late, the Northwestern states also have to be mindful of how nearby wildfires negatively impact their overall air quality over prolonged periods of time. While the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) oscillating “hazardous” and “moderate” ratings of the air quality in this region refer largely to the outdoor air quality, such smoke and airborne pollutants can easily make their way inside, becoming an altogether difficult hazard to avoid throughout the year.

The Midwest

The EPA’s work in monitoring climate change has identified the Midwest as a region that will likely continue to “experience warmer and wetter winters” in comparison to the ones they have experienced in the past. Thus, this change in annual temperature and overall climate lengthens the time in which pollen, mold spores, and other moisture-related contaminants are suspended in the air, causing inhabitants to suffer worsened allergies, even in the winter.

Otherwise, the United States National Climate Assessment points out that the Midwest experiences air quality that “fails to meet national ambient air quality standards,” which is largely due to human-induced emissions and volatile organic compounds. In homes that experience poor ventilation or feature areas of air leakage, these chemicals can weasel their way into the home or business, ultimately posing a health hazard to all those inside.

Regardless of where you reside in the nation, the state-of-the-art InstaScope is available through service providers to help you capture, identify, and analyze airborne particles (including virus clusters/bacteria, mold, and pollen) with biofluorescent technology. The InstaScope was specially designed to report air quality on-the-spot and instantly, which is why this revolutionary technology is capable of best reporting the biological loading of airborne mold, bacteria, viruses, and pollen for an unlimited number of rooms and generating user-friendly reports.

Are you ready to combat allergens and pollutants in both residential and commercial spaces alike? Then it’s time to turn to the InstaScope! To learn more about the InstaScope and how it can enhance your business model as a service provider, contact DetectionTek today by calling 720-410-7030 or emailing

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Our team will walk you through the sampling process and features of the app so you can see how InstaScope is changing the way service providers do business.

See it to believe it

Our team will walk you through the sampling process and features of the app so you can see how InstaScope is changing the way service providers do business.

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