How Can I Tell if My Homes Air Quality is Bad?

April 27, 2020

If you’re uncertain whether your Elk River residence has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.

We are indoors a lot. In fact, we’re inside up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside residences may be 2–5 times more contaminated than outdoors, which could create long-term health problems.

Most Common Origins of Bad IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most ordinary causes of poor IAQ, the troubles they cause and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re concerned about the air inside your home, we suggest talking with a professional like Home Comfort Heating & Air about which options are best for your home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals emitted from regular household things.

They’re found in paint and stains in addition to:

  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Building materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Air fresheners
  • Candles

When these chemicals collect in your home, they can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also lead to headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your home is in a rural or industrial area, an EPA study found indoor levels of these pollutants can be 2–5 times worse than the air outdoors.

Always use the manufacturer’s directions when painting or cleaning. Opening a window can help odors disappear faster.

Air purification systems can also make it better. This system partners with your heating and cooling system to freshen indoor air. When hunting for a model, ensure it’s specifically created to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets recirculated by your house’s heating and cooling equipment. While you can vacuum more regularly and get an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system could be a better fit.

This equipment works with your heating and cooling unit to deliver powerful filtration. Some types have hospital-quality filtration for getting rid of particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

Newer homes are tightly sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is great for your heating and cooling costs, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can stick around longer since your home is taking in a smaller amount of fresh air. Since keeping your windows open throughout the year isn’t a possibility, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell fresher.

An air purification system is installed in your HVAC system to wipe out odors before they get released again. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to wipe out harmful VOCs. These systems can also help keep your family healthy by eliminating most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes musty indoor air and exchanges it with fresh outdoor air. There are two models of units (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our professionals for more information on which type is ideal for your residence.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s important your residence’s humidity keeps even. Air that’s too humid can create mold, while dry air can cause respiratory symptoms.

Our techs recommend 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours even, consider getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC unit.

In place of having to drag a humidifier from room to room, this product provides balanced humidity across your house.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is colorless gas you can’t smell. It’s caused by insufficient combustion in fuel-burning equipment, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses an extreme health risk. In small levels, it can lead to flu-like sickness like headaches and nausea. It may be lethal in large amounts.

We recommend annual furnace maintenance to make sure your unit is operating smoothly. This service allows our technicians to discover issues before they begin, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your residence free of carbon monoxide is to get detectors. These alarms should be on all floors near bedrooms and living rooms.

Better Your House’s Air Quality with the Home Comfort Heating & Air Professionals

Informed that your house has inferior air quality but not sure how to make it better? Or unsure which option is best for you? Give our approachable HVAC professionals a call at 763-276-0617 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and pro support, we’ll help you choose the right solution for your needs and budget.