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

May 22, 2020

We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has found many 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 unfavorable impact on your health. That’s why it’s important to identify the signs of poor air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to repair it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Rochester home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC pros at Brogan Heating & AC Inc can assist you. We’ll review the troubles you’re having and offer suggestions to make your residence’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

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

These starting points include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by not enough ventilation in your residence, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your heating and cooling costs but not so good when you require extra fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people are affected differently by indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms now or later on. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave your house but get worse when you return.

Some of the most common immediate problems include:

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

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms can be heightened.

Constant or prolonged exposure can result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

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

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

  1. Your home is very dusty, particularly around the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty during the week, but buildup around your air registers should be troubling. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, particularly if you have allergies or asthma. A higher-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling equipment could be failing to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution problems as a result of your home comfort equipment or ductwork. Our Brogan Heating & AC Inc pros can locate the trouble and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air seems too dry or too wet. We advise having your house’s humidity range around 30–40% for ideal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat may feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during warm weather, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your well-being. You can fight these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your home comfort system to provide balanced humidity throughout your house.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You may catch a musty smell when you arrive. Or a cooking odor that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not possible to keep your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your residence smelling fresh again. It substitutes musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA suggests taking include keeping your home smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your HVAC equipment. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and can even help them run for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality issue, give our Brogan Heating & AC Inc HVAC specialists a call at 507-218-0088 or contact us online. We’re available to talk with you about possibilities and give you a free estimate.