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

May 22, 2020

We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has found most people spend 90% of their lives within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times worse than outside.

Poor indoor air quality can have an unfavorable effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the warnings of bad air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to repair it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Lawrence home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC pros at Scott Temperature can provide assistance. We’ll go through the problems you’re experiencing and give plans to make your residence’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These origins include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, for example 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 made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Today’s residences are firmly sealed for energy conservation, which is a plus for your utility costs but not so fantastic when you have to have additional fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you may have symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms can alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms include:

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

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

Continuous or lengthy exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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

  1. Your home is excessively dusty, notably near the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty during the week, but accumulation around your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can influence your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other aggravating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling unit may be failing to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there might be air distribution troubles as a result of your home comfort equipment or ductwork. Our Scott Temperature pros can locate the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air seems too dry or too wet. We suggest having your residence’s humidity levels around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat can feel dry. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during warm weather, you might have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can take care of these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your heating and cooling equipment to deliver even humidity throughout your residence.
  4. Your home has odors that stick around. You could detect a stuffy scent when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not possible to keep your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling pleasant again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA suggests taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling system. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and can even help them work for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your home has air quality trouble, give our Scott Temperature HVAC professionals a call at 785-269-0465 or contact us online. We’re available to discuss possibilities and offer a free estimate.