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

April 27, 2020

If you’re uncertain whether your Alliance home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably 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 homes can be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which could create long-term health problems.

Most Common Sources of Poor IAQ

We’ve put together a list of the most ordinary sources of bad IAQ, the issues they make and how you can remedy these indoor air pollutants. If you’re troubled by the air inside your house, we advise consulting with a expert like Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces about which solutions are a good fit for your home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

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

They’re found in paint and stains as well as:

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

When these chemicals collect indoors, they might irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They can also result in headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your home is in a rural or industrial location, an EPA study found indoor levels of these chemicals can be 2–5 times worse than the air outside your home.

Always use the manufacturer’s guidelines when applying paint or spraying cleaning products. Unlatching a window can help odors disappear more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also help. This equipment works with your heating and cooling unit to freshen indoor air. When looking for one, ensure 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 continuously gets recirculated by your home’s heating and cooling system. While you can vacuum more frequently and buy an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system might be a better match.

This solution works with your HVAC unit to provide strong filtration. Some kinds have hospital-grade filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Persistent Odors

Modern houses are tightly sealed to enhance energy efficiency. While this is great for your heating and cooling expenses, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Musty odors can hang around for an extended amount of time as your house is taking in a smaller amount of fresh air. Since 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 put in your ductwork to eliminate odors before they get released again. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to break down dangerous VOCs. This equipment can also help keep your loved ones healthy by wiping out most bacteria and ordinary allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system takes out musty indoor air and exchanges it with fresh outdoor air. There are two kinds of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so call our specialists for more info on which type is best for your residence.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s critical your residence’s humidity remains even. Air that has too much moisture can lead to mold, while dry air can create respiratory symptoms.

Our technicians advise 40–50% for the best comfort. To keep yours in balance, think about getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your comfort unit.

Rather than having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this product gives balanced humidity around your home.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is gas you can’t see or smell. It’s caused by incomplete combustion in fuel-burning units, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It presents a serious health risk. In small amounts, it can lead to flu-like sickness like headaches and nausea. It can be fatal in large concentrations.

We suggest yearly furnace maintenance to double-check your unit is running smoothly. This work allows our technicians to see problems before they start, including malfunctions that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your home free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms should be on every floor by bedrooms and living areas.

Improve Your House’s Air Quality with the Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces Pros

Know that your house has poor air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which option is right for you? Give our kind HVAC experts a call at 308-646-3827 or contact us online now. With free estimates and pro service, we’ll help you find the best solution for your home and budget.