We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined many people spend 90% of their time inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to be able to spot the signs of bad air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to fix it.
If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Alliance home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC experts at Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces can assist you. We’ll go over the issues you’re running into and offer plans to make your house’s air better.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you think of pollution, you usually think of smog. But everyday products inside your home can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These sources involve:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
- Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Too much moisture
- HVAC units
- Recently placed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Artificial building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by not enough ventilation in your residence, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Today’s homes are tightly sealed for energy conservation, which is great for your energy expenses but not so good when you have to have more fresh air in your home.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may have symptoms right away or in the future. Your symptoms could lessen when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.
Some of the most usual immediate issues involve:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.
Constant or long-term exposure may result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It
Your house will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.
- Your home is extremely dusty, especially near the vents. It’s common for your residence to get dusty during the week, but buildup close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold rooms. Your home comfort system might be having difficulty maintaining correct temperature and humidity percentages. Or there may be air distribution troubles as a result of your heating and cooling equipment or ductwork. Our Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces professionals can locate the trouble and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air feels too dry or too wet. We recommend having your residence’s humidity percentage around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your home isn’t humid enough during the winter, 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 could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are detrimental to your health. You can combat these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your heating and cooling equipment to give appropriate humidity throughout your residence.
- Your house has lingering odors. You could notice a musty smell when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not feasible to keep your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling fresh again. It exchanges musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other steps the EPA suggests taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your home comfort equipment. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and could even help them run for a longer amount of time.
We Can Help Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your home has air quality trouble, give our Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces HVAC specialists a call at 308-321-4703 or contact us online. We’re ready to talk with you about options and give you a free estimate.