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

April 27, 2020

If you’re unsure whether your Kearney residence has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it likely does.

We are indoors a lot. In fact, 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 contaminated than outdoors, which can result in long-term health concerns.

Most Common Causes of Unsatisfactory IAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequent causes of poor IAQ, the problems they create and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re worried about the air inside your house, we advise talking with a pro like Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning about which options are best for your home.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are vapors emitted from everyday household things.

They’re found in paint and stains along with:

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

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

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when painting or cleaning. Cracking a window can help odors disperse more rapidly.

Air purification systems can also help. This system works with your heating and cooling system to enhance indoor air. When hunting for one, check that it’s specifically made to eradicate VOCs.

Dust and Pet Dander

Dust and pet dander can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continually gets recirculated by your home’s comfort system. While you can vacuum more regularly and buy a better air filter, an air filtration system may be a better solution.

This equipment works with your HVAC equipment to provide powerful filtration. Some kinds offer hospital-level filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.

Lingering Odors

Newer homes are tightly sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your energy bill, it’s not very good for your IAQ.

Musty odors can stay around longer since your home is taking in reduced fresh air. As keeping your windows open all the time isn’t a possibility, here are two ways you can make your indoor air smell better.

An air purification system is put in your HVAC system to wipe out odors before they are redistributed. Find one with a carbon filter and the ability to wipe out dangerous VOCs. These units can also help keep your family healthy by wiping out most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.

A ventilation system pulls out stuffy indoor air and replaces it with crisp outdoor air. There are two models of systems (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our experts for more information on which type is ideal for your home.

Uneven Humidity

It’s essential your home’s humidity remains even. Air that’s too moist can create mold, while dry air can cause respiratory issues.

Our technicians advise 40–50% for ideal comfort. To keep yours steady, think about buying a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC equipment.

In place of having to pull a humidifier from room to room, this solution gives even humidity around your residence.

Carbon Monoxide

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

It poses a serious health risk. In small concentrations, it can create flu-like symptoms like headaches and nausea. It could be fatal in heavy concentrations.

We recommend annual furnace maintenance to double-check your unit is working like it should. This job allows our specialists to pinpoint problems before they start, including malfunctions that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

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

Improve Your House’s Air Quality with the Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning Pros

Informed that your house has poor air quality but not sure how to enhance it? Or unsure which product is best for you? Give our approachable HVAC specialists a call at 308-624-3485 or contact us online now. With free estimates and professional assistance, we’ll help you choose the right option for your family and budget.