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

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has calculated many people spend 90% of their time indoors a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Bad indoor air quality can have an adverse impact on your health. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the signs of inferior air quality in your residence, what triggers it and how to fix it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Alice home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort professionals at Rescue Heating & Air can help. We’ll go over the problems you’re running into and give suggestions to make your house’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you usually think of smog. But common products inside your house can create pollution by the gases or particles they let into the air.

These origins 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
  • Too much moisture
  • HVAC equipment
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, such as furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be intensified by a lack of ventilation in your residence, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Recently built houses are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is a plus for your heating and cooling bill but not so good when you have to have extra fresh air in your home.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you may develop symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms could lessen when you leave home but come back when you return.

Some of the most common immediate issues deal with:

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

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be heightened.

Repeated or prolonged exposure could lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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

  1. Your home is very dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty in a week’s time, but a lot of dust by your air registers should be cause for concern. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, particularly if you have allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other annoying pollutants.
  2. Your house has hot and cold spots. Your HVAC system may be having difficulty maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity percentages. Or there may be air distribution problems as a result of your heating and cooling unit or ductwork. Our Rescue Heating & Air professionals can locate the trouble and advise repairs or replacement.
  3. Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We recommend keeping your residence’s humidity percentage between 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat could feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during warm weather, you could have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your wellness. You can fight these troubles with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort unit to give balanced humidity throughout your residence.
  4. Your residence has odors that won’t go away. You may notice a stale odor when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to keep your windows open all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It substitutes stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other steps the EPA recommends taking include keeping your house smoke-free, adding carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your heating and cooling unit. Routine furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and could even help them run longer.

We Can Help Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your home has air quality trouble, give our Rescue Heating & Air HVAC experts a call at 361-265-4371 or contact us online. We’re available to discuss possibilities and give you a free estimate.