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

May 22, 2020

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

Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your wellness. That’s why it’s critical to be able to spot the symptoms of poor air quality in your home, what leads to it and how to fix it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Ellsworth home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling professionals at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC can assist you. We’ll review the troubles you’re experiencing and provide strategies to make your residence’s air better.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you usually think of smog. But everyday products in your residence can make pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These sources consist of:

  • 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
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, such as furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are firmly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your utility bill but not so great when you have to have more 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 right away or later. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your residence but come back when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate issues involve:

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

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be worse.

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

Other Signs of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

Your house will also indicate that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.

  1. Your home is excessively dusty, particularly around the vents. It’s normal for your residence to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust close to your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A better-quality 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 rooms. Your HVAC unit may be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution issues as a result of your heating and cooling unit or ductwork. Our Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC professionals can diagnose the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air seems too dry or too wet. We recommend maintaining your home’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat can feel dry. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your wellness. You can manage these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC unit to give appropriate humidity around your house.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You could catch a stale scent when you arrive. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not possible to open your windows 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling fresh again. It replaces musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling system. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and might even help them last for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your residence has an air quality issue, give our Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC HVAC pros a call at 715-318-6728 or contact us online. We’re available to discuss solutions and give you a free estimate.