We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has found the majority of people spend 90% of their time inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times poorer than outside.
Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse influence on your health. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the signs of poor air quality in your house, what causes it and how to take care of it.
If you want to know how you can tell if your Troy home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC experts at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc can help. We’ll review the problems you’re experiencing and give ideas to make your home’s air healthier.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you think of pollution, you usually think of smog. But common products within your home can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These origins consist of:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
- Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that uses gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excessive moisture
- HVAC equipment
- Recently installed flooring or carpeting
- Secondhand smoke
- Man-made building materials, such as furniture manufactured from pressed wood
Indoor air pollution can be worsened by insufficient ventilation in your home, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is great for your energy 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 could experience symptoms right away or in the future. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your residence but get worse when you return.
Some of the most common immediate issues involve:
- Scratchy eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be heightened.
Repeated or lengthy exposure may result in respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Signs of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It
Your residence will also signal that its air isn’t as fresh as it should be.
- Your residence is excessively dusty, particularly near the vents. It’s common for your home to get dusty in a week’s time, but buildup close to your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can impact your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A better-quality air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help reduce dust and other aggravating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC system might be struggling to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Or there could be air distribution troubles as a result of your heating and cooling system or ductwork. Our Edington Heating & Cooling Inc professionals can find the problem and recommend repairs or replacement.
- Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We suggest keeping your residence’s humidity range around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat might feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your home is too humid during the summer, you could have more mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can take care of these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which partners your home comfort system to provide balanced humidity throughout your home.
- Your home has odors that won’t go away. You could catch a musty scent when you come home. Or a cooking odor that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not practical to have your windows open 24/7, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It replaces stale inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA recommends implementing include keeping your home smoke-free, buying carbon monoxide alarms and tuning up your home comfort equipment. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and may even help them last longer.
We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality
If you think your home has an air quality issue, give our Edington Heating & Cooling Inc HVAC pros a call at 937-558-9478 or contact us online. We’re available to talk with you about possibilities and give you a free estimate.