Signs Your Residence Has Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Repair It

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their time within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have an unfavorable influence on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the warnings of poor air quality in your home, what leads to it and how to take care of it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Elk River home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Home Comfort Heating & Air can help. We’ll review the troubles you’re experiencing and give strategies to make your house’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These starting points involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that runs on gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • New flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by insufficient ventilation in your residence, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is a plus for your heating and cooling bill but not so good when you have to have additional fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may experience symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms may go away when you leave your residence but come back when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate symptoms include:

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

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

Constant or lengthy exposure may cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Symptoms of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

Your house will also indicate that its air isn’t as healthy as it could be.

  1. Your residence is very dusty, notably near the vents. It’s normal for your residence to get dusty during the week, but buildup around your air registers should be troubling. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, especially 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 home comfort unit might be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution issues due to your home comfort system or ductwork. Our Home Comfort Heating & Air pros can locate the problem and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend having your home’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat can feel dry. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you could have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your wellness. You can manage these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC system to provide appropriate humidity across your residence.
  4. Your home has odors that stick around. You might detect a stale scent when you get home. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It exchanges musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your HVAC unit. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and can even help them run for a greater amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has air quality trouble, give our Home Comfort Heating & Air HVAC professionals a call at 763-276-0617 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about possibilities and provide a free estimate.