Signs Your House Has Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

May 22, 2020

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

Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse influence on your wellness. That’s why it’s important to identify the signs of inferior air quality in your house, what leads to it and how to fix it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Mechanicsville home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at M & S Heating & Air LLC can provide assistance. We’ll go through the problems you’re having and provide plans to make your residence’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you think of pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday products inside your residence can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These sources include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby goods
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Man-made building materials, such as furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by not enough ventilation in your home, as well as high temperatures and humidity. Today’s residences are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your heating and cooling bill but not so great when you require additional fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you may experience symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.

Some of the most usual immediate symptoms involve:

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

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be more severe.

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

Other Indications of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Your home will also signal that its air isn’t as fresh as it could be.

  1. Your home is excessively dusty, especially near the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty over the week, but a lot of dust near your air registers should be concerning. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold areas. Your heating and cooling equipment could be failing to maintain correct temperature and humidity percentages. Or there could be air distribution issues because of your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our M & S Heating & Air LLC professionals can locate the issue and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air feels too dry or too wet. We advise maintaining your home’s humidity percentage near 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your house isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat could feel itchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during the summer, you might have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can take care of these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your HVAC system to deliver appropriate humidity across your house.
  4. Your house has odors that stick around. You could detect a musty odor when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to keep your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling good again. It exchanges musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA advises taking include keeping your residence smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling system. Annual furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and may even help them run for a longer amount of time.

We Can Help Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has an air quality issue, give our M & S Heating & Air LLC HVAC pros a call at 301-363-4699 or contact us online. We’re ready to talk with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.