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

April 27, 2020

If you’re questioning whether your Ellsworth home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

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

Most Common Causes of Bad IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most ordinary sources of bad IAQ, the issues they cause and how you can fix these indoor air pollutants. If you’re concerned about the air inside your house, we suggest talking with a pro like Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC about which products are best for your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals released by everyday household things.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

When these fumes collect inside, they might irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They might also create 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 outside your home.

Always use the manufacturer’s instructions when painting or cleaning. Unlatching a window can help fumes disperse faster.

Air purification systems can also help. This unit partners with your heating and cooling unit to improve indoor air. When seeking a model, check that it’s specifically created to eliminate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets moved by your home’s heating and cooling equipment. While you can vacuum more frequently and install an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system could be a better match.

This solution connects with your HVAC unit to deliver strong filtration. Some models have hospital-quality filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Persistent Odors

Modern homes are tightly sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is good for your energy costs, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can hang around for an extended amount of time as your home is taking in reduced fresh air. Because keeping your windows open all the time isn’t a possibility, here are two ways you can make your indoor air smell fresher.

An air purification system is installed in your HVAC system to neutralize odors before they are redistributed. Look for one with a carbon filter and the ability to wipe out dangerous VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your household healthy by getting rid of most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes musty indoor air and substitutes it with clean outdoor air. There are two kinds of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our pros for more info on which solution is best for your residence.

Unbalanced Humidity

It’s critical your home’s humidity keeps steady. Air that’s too humid can create mold, while dry air can create respiratory troubles.

Our techs advise 40–50% for the best comfort. To keep yours steady, think about getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your comfort system.

Rather than having to drag a humidifier from room to room, this equipment provides even humidity around your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It occurs when there’s insufficient combustion in fuel-burning equipment, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses an extreme health risk. In little concentrations, it can cause flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It may be lethal in large amounts.

We recommend regular furnace maintenance to double-check your unit is working like it should. This service allows our pros to spot troubles before they begin, including malfunctions that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

The best way to keep your house free of carbon monoxide is to get detectors. These alarms need to be on all floors by bedrooms and living areas.

Improve Your Residence’s Air Quality with the Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC Experts

Informed that your house has poor air quality but not sure how to enhance it? Or unsure which product is a good fit for you? Give our friendly HVAC experts a call at 715-318-6728 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and expert support, we’ll help you choose the ideal equipment for your family and budget.