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

May 22, 2020

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

Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable influence on your well-being. That’s why it’s critical to identify the signs of poor air quality in your house, what triggers it and how to take care of it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Lexington home’s air quality is bad, our team of home comfort pros at James Heating & A/C, Inc can provide assistance. We’ll go over the problems you’re running into and offer suggestions to make your home’s air healthier.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you picture pollution, you typically think of smog. But everyday items within your residence can lead to pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These origins include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby products
  • Combustion appliances, for example a furnace or stove that consumes gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excess moisture
  • HVAC units
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Synthetic building materials, including furniture made from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be exacerbated by insufficient ventilation in your house, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Modern homes are firmly sealed for energy efficiency, which is a plus for your utility expenses but not so great when you require more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people react differently to indoor air pollutants, you could develop symptoms right away or later. Your symptoms can lessen when you leave your house but worsen when you return.

Some of the most regular immediate issues deal with:

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

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

Continuous or prolonged exposure could 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 home will also indicate that its air isn’t as healthy as it needs to be.

  1. Your house is very dusty, notably close to the vents. It’s common for your home to get dusty during the week, but a lot of dust 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, very much so if you struggle with 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 residence has hot and cold rooms. Your HVAC equipment may be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity amounts. Or there may be air distribution troubles because of your home comfort unit or ductwork. Our James Heating & A/C, Inc professionals can pinpoint the problem and recommend repairs or replacement.
  3. Your residence’s air feels too dry or too wet. We advise maintaining your house’s humidity range around 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat may feel itchy. You might also experience colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your residence is too humid during hot temperatures, you could have increased mold and mildew growth, both of which are bad for your well-being. You can fight these issues with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your HVAC unit to provide balanced humidity across your residence.
  4. Your house has odors that stick around. You could catch a stale scent when you get home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t disperse. Since it’s not feasible to have your windows open all day, a whole-home ventilation system can get your home smelling pleasant again. It exchanges stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.

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

We Can Help Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

If you think your residence has an air quality issue, give our James Heating & A/C, Inc HVAC specialists a call at 336-853-6070 or contact us online. We’re here to chat with you about options and offer a free estimate.