We are indoors a lot. In fact, the EPA has calculated most people spend 90% of their lives inside a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.
Bad indoor air quality can have an unfavorable impact on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of poor 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 Stuart home’s air quality is bad, our team of heating and cooling experts at Breathe Healthier Air can help. We’ll go through the issues you’re running into and provide ideas to make your house’s air cleaner.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
When you picture pollution, you usually think of smog. But ordinary things within your house can make pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.
These starting points involve:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
- Combustion appliances, such as a furnace or stove that consumes gas
- Dust, animal dander and pollen
- Excess moisture
- HVAC units
- New 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 residence, as well as warm temperatures and humidity. Recently built residences are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, which is good for your energy costs but not so fantastic when you have to have more fresh air in your home.
Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?
Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you could have symptoms now or in the future. Your symptoms may alleviate when you leave your house but get worse when you return.
Some of the most common immediate problems include:
- Dry eyes, nose or throat
If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be worse.
Constant or long-term exposure may lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.
Other Indications of Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Fix It
Your residence will also give you some signs that its air isn’t as healthy as it could be.
- Your home is excessively dusty, particularly near the vents. It’s expected for your home to get dusty during the week, but buildup by your air registers should be concerning. There are other particles within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you deal with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
- Your residence has hot and cold spots. Your HVAC system might be struggling to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there may be air distribution issues because of your HVAC system or ductwork. Our Breathe Healthier Air specialists can pinpoint the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
- Your house’s air appears too dry or too wet. We suggest having your residence’s humidity range between 30–40% for optimum comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold temperatures, your skin and throat can feel scratchy. You might also have colds and other respiratory illnesses more frequently. If your home is too humid during hot temperatures, you might have increased 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 works with your home comfort unit to give appropriate humidity throughout your home.
- Your home has odors that won’t go away. You might catch a musty scent when you come home. Or a cooking smell that just won’t go away. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling fresh again. It replaces stuffy inside air with fresh outdoor air.
Other strategies the EPA advises doing include keeping your residence smoke-free, getting carbon monoxide alarms and servicing your heating and cooling system. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your units clean and efficient and could even help them work for a longer amount of time.
We Can Help Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
If you believe your house has air quality trouble, give our Breathe Healthier Air HVAC experts a call at 772-353-4633 or contact us online. We’re available to chat with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.