Signs Your House Has Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Repair It

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to identify the signs of poor air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to fix it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Cottonwood home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling pros at Connolly Electric & Mechanical can help. We’ll review the troubles you’re having and provide plans to make your home’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But ordinary items in your residence can make pollution by the gases or particles they leak into the air.

These origins include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, like furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by not enough ventilation in your house, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are firmly sealed for energy savings, which is a plus for your heating and cooling costs but not so great 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 might have symptoms now or later on. Your symptoms could alleviate when you leave your residence but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate issues involve:

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

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be worse.

Repeated or prolonged exposure may lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

Your residence will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.

  1. Your residence is very dusty, notably near the vents. It’s common for your house to get dusty during the week, but a lot of dust around your air registers should be troubling. There are other particles 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 cut down on dust and other aggravating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold spots. Your HVAC system could be failing to maintain correct temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution troubles as a result of your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Connolly Electric & Mechanical specialists can pinpoint the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your house’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during the summer, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can fight these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort unit to provide balanced humidity throughout your home.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You could detect a musty scent when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t go away. Since it’s not possible to keep your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It substitutes musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA advises doing include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your home comfort equipment. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and may even help them last for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your house has air quality trouble, give our Connolly Electric & Mechanical HVAC experts a call at 928-639-4251 or contact us online. We’re here to talk with you about options and offer a free estimate.