Signs Your House Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

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

Poor indoor air quality can have a negative influence on your health. That’s why it’s essential to know the signs of bad air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to repair it.

If you want to know how you can tell if your Marshalltown home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at B & G HVAC can help. We’ll go through the problems you’re running into and offer ideas to make your residence’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you usually think of smog. But ordinary products inside your home can create pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These origins consist of:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that runs on gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, such as furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by not enough ventilation in your home, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is a plus for your heating and cooling costs but not so great when you need extra fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms now or later on. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate problems deal with:

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

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be heightened.

Repeated or extended exposure could lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Indications of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Your home will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.

  1. Your residence is very dusty, particularly around the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust near your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold rooms. Your home comfort unit may be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity percentages. Or there may be air distribution problems because of your heating and cooling unit or ductwork. Our B & G HVAC professionals can locate the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your residence’s humidity range around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat may feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during the summer, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can combat these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your HVAC system to deliver even humidity around your home.
  4. Your house has lingering odors. You could catch a musty odor when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t go away. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It replaces stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your HVAC equipment. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and may even help them run longer.

We Can Help Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has air quality trouble, give our B & G HVAC HVAC experts a call at 641-316-3360 or contact us online. We’re ready to discuss solutions and give you a free estimate.