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

April 27, 2020

If you’re questioning whether your Mechanicsville residence has bad indoor air quality (IAQ), it possibly does.

We spend much of our time indoors. In reality, we’re inside 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 contaminated than outdoors, which could result in long-term health issues.

Most Common Sources of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve put together a list of the most ordinary sources of poor IAQ, the issues they create and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your residence, we recommend chatting with a expert like M & S Heating & Air LLC about which products are best for your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors leaked 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 fumes collect indoors, they might irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They may also result in headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your residence is in a rural or industrial space, an EPA study found indoor levels of these chemicals can be 2–5 times higher than the air outside your home.

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when painting or cleaning. Cracking a window can help odors dissipate more quickly.

Air purification systems can also better your air. This system works with your heating and cooling equipment to enhance indoor air. When hunting for a model, check that it’s specifically made to wipe out VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can aggravate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets recirculated by your house’s HVAC system. While you can vacuum more regularly and install an enhanced air filter, an air filtration system might be a better match.

This equipment works with your heating and cooling system to provide powerful filtration. Some models have hospital-grade filtration for removing particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

Modern residences are securely sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is great for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Stale odors can hang around longer as your residence is pulling in reduced 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 cleaner.

An air purification system is put in your HVAC system to eliminate odors before they get released again. Search for one with a carbon filter and the capability to eliminate dangerous VOCs. These systems can also help keep your household healthy by wiping out most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system removes stuffy indoor air and substitutes it with clean outdoor air. There are two types of equipment (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our technicians for more information on which type is best for your house.

Unsteady Humidity

It’s essential your house’s humidity stays balanced. Air that’s too moist can lead to mold, while dry air can create respiratory issues.

Our techs suggest 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours steady, think about installing a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your heating and cooling system.

Instead of having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this equipment provides balanced humidity across your home.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is colorless gas you can’t smell. It occurs when there’s unfinished combustion in fuel-burning appliances, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.

It poses a severe health risk. In low amounts, it can cause flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It can be lethal in large levels.

We recommend annual furnace maintenance to ensure your unit is operating like it should. This work allows our professionals to pinpoint issues before they start, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.

The best approach to keep your house free of carbon monoxide is to get detectors. These alarms should be on every floor close to bedrooms and living areas.

Enhance Your House’s Air Quality with the M & S Heating & Air LLC Specialists

Informed that your residence has poor air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which option is best for you? Give our friendly HVAC pros a call at 301-363-4699 or contact us online now. With free estimates and pro service, we’ll help you choose the ideal solution for your needs and budget.