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

May 22, 2020

We are often indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined the majority of people spend 90% of their time within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.

Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse influence on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the symptoms of inferior air quality in your home, what triggers it and how to take care of it.

If you’re wondering how you can tell if your Kearney home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can assist you. We’ll go over the troubles you’re having and give suggestions to make your house’s air fresher.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you generally think of smog. But everyday products in 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 goods
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently installed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, like furniture constructed from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by a lack of ventilation in your house, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Today’s residences are tightly sealed for energy savings, which is good for your heating and cooling expenses but not so great 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 have symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms may lessen when you leave home but worsen when you return.

Some of the most common immediate symptoms include:

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

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, their symptoms might be worse.

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

Other Symptoms of Bad Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It

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

  1. Your home is very dusty, especially by the vents. It’s expected for your house to get dusty in a week’s time, but accumulation close to your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help cut down on dust and other aggravating pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC system might be failing to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Or there might be air distribution troubles as a result of your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning professionals can pinpoint the problem and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your residence’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during the winter, your skin and throat might feel itchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more regularly. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you may have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your well-being. You can fight these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which works with your HVAC system to give appropriate humidity around your house.
  4. Your residence has lingering odors. You may notice a musty smell when you get home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. 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 exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other strategies the EPA suggests taking include keeping your home smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your home comfort unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your systems clean and efficient and may even help them work longer.

We Can Help Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you believe your residence has air quality trouble, give our Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC specialists a call at 308-624-3485 or contact us online. We’re ready to discuss solutions and provide a free estimate.