Signs Your House Has Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Restore It

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated the majority of people spend 90% of their lives within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have a negative impact on your health. That’s why it’s important to identify the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what triggers it and how to take care of it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Bloomfield home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC experts at Stanford Heating & Cooling can assist you. We’ll go through the issues you’re having and give strategies to make your residence’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you typically think of smog. But ordinary things within your residence can cause pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These origins include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is a plus for your utility expenses but not so fantastic when you need more fresh air inside.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you might have symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave your residence but come back when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms include:

  • Dry eyes, nose or throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.

Repeated or prolonged exposure can result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Signs of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Your house will also signal that its air isn’t as fresh as it could be.

  1. Your residence is excessively dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s normal for your home to get dusty during the week, but buildup near your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other things within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, particularly if you have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold spots. Your heating and cooling unit could be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution issues due to your heating and cooling unit or ductwork. Our Stanford Heating & Cooling specialists can locate the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We advise keeping your home’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you might have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your well-being. You can combat these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your home comfort system to give even humidity around your residence.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could detect a stale smell when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not possible to open your windows all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA advises taking include keeping your house smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your heating and cooling equipment. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and might even help them work for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has an air quality problem, give our Stanford Heating & Cooling HVAC professionals a call at 812-825-8695 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about options and provide a free estimate.